This is Jennifer Alexa. She lives in New York City and is a writer in a publication house. She is single and skeptical of having serious relationships. She stays away from family. They are over-protective which may have made her very intolerant and cautious. She is trying to change that. Jennifer reads books, watches movies like a couch potato and runs in the park daily. She normally has a light lunch, something like a sandwich. She listens to country music or soft rock or sometimes pop-Asian music too. She’s never got in legal troubles, ever. She secretly smokes once a while, but she actually hates it! She likes spicy food. She avoids leadership or the spotlight and likes to work behind a desk. She is healthy with great skin. She is slim, weight in control and fit. She may live long, but her over-cautiousness may lead her into an accident.
Here’s Dr. Spencer. He lives in Berlin and teaches psychology in college. He is single and the only pet he has is a goldfish. He likes reading and attending storytelling activities. He doesn’t speak at those events but just listens. During leisure, he likes going hiking and swimming alone. Most of the time, he brings sandwiches from next door, for lunch. He rarely listens to music. He is very careful of offending someone, of breaking the law. He has a secret – he likes pink color and also has a pair of pink socks with pictures of cats on them. He may marry a local woman, maybe his colleague and may have two or three children.
His name’s Nelson. He stays in an apartment in Mumbai. He had a job, now doing his Ph.D. He’s in a new relationship, old one ended a while back. He’s kind, attentive and loves his family. Hobbies are reading and playing video games. He eats cafeteria food or what he cooked the previous night. He likes all kinds of food but prefers Chinese. He likes punk rock. He was put in custody for stalking his ex-girlfriend. Released after a week. He is a bipolar person, eccentric, creative, sometimes criminal with not too healthy, pallid skin.
This is what Physiognomy is. I drew the look for Dr. Spencer and Nelson and I defined Jessica’s personality. In the same way, Sev, my classmate created the face for Jennifer and she defined who Dr. Spencer was, while Aakanksha described the personality for Nelson. I used this exercise inspired by my comics class to exploit the innate natural tendency of human to judge another, not by merely running judgments, but driving imagination in the direction of empathy.