I always doodle during presentations and meetings. Doodling complements the listening process and helps me absorb orally presented material. These automatic drawings provide a direct line to my unconscious. 

I was recently invited to participate in a life coaching workshop and naturally, I ended up with a tiny drawing on the corner of the page. It's obvious from this sketch that my psyche wasn't in a very good mood that day.

Although the doodle was on the glum side, I found it mesmerizing. Glum chum? Time to play!

I photographed the drawing, removed much of the background in Photoshop and was left with the face above. In retrospect, I could have also experimented with the text but I didn't. I may eventually try other versions that include words.

I put the image through a filter to arrive at an interesting texture. I duplicated the face, warped it, placed two slightly overlapping characters over an old newspaper background and drew over the newly created image. It was rather dark in tone so I lightened it up a bit.

When people who don't feel like smiling smile, their eyes remain sad. I toyed with this reality and arrived at the final digital interpretation below. I call it "Trying to smile".