So today, according to the holiday websites, is Make Your Own Head Day. Bit of a clumsily named day, if you ask me, but apparently the day is all about getting creative, with a bit of self-reflection thrown in. Grab a pencil, or a heap of clay, or whatever material strikes your fancy, and start creating an image in your likeness.
If your drawing looks more like a particularly abstract Rorschach test than a self-portrait, don’t worry – it’s all about self-expression, and there’s no prizes for the best artwork. After all, if you subscribe to the American developmental psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, spatial intelligence (‘picture smart’) is just one dimension of intelligence. This type of intelligence – the ability to think and express yourself in three dimensions – is shared between the creative types who express themselves spatially, like artists, architects and designers, and people who are skilled at orienting themselves spatially like pilots, sailors etc.
If spatial intelligence is not your thing, perhaps you have naturalistic intelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, linguistic intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, or even existential intelligence. There are many sites containing in-depth discussion of these, but for a simple, succinct summary of Gardner’s different intelligences, have a look at The Nine Types of Intelligence.
Given the above, perhaps we should expand Make Your Own Head Day to incorporate the other intelligences. If you’re a mathematical whizz you can calculate the volume of your head, or model it’s shape (and don’t go for the ‘Let’s assume a perfectly spherical head’ cop-out!). If you have body-smarts, perhaps you can express your personality through dance. The musical types can write a self-referential song, the linguists can create their self-portrait through poetry or prose, and so forth.
And those with existential intelligence can just sit back and think about it all.
Whatever you do, enjoy this day of self-reflective creative expression!