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Some comments by writers of portraits

Writing a self-portrait enables you to take stock and think of where you are in life, how you got there, and where you want to go. It makes you more comfortable with what you are and more prepared to do something about the things you feel you have to change. I'm looking forward to going home for Christmas because my father wants to take me out for a meal - just the two of us - to talk about some things in my portrait. I would like all my family to write one and to share it with the rest of us. It would stimulate the sort of conversations that don't usually happen unless something has gone badly wrong.

The first time I read my portrait, some months after the hugely enjoyable and exhausting interview, I was taken aback by how I perceived myself. It was not an inaccurate portrait or unbalanced due to an emotional state I found myself in at the time. I felt myself hugely moved by it

The best thing that Alan said to me about his portrait was that it expressed his thoughts on paper, which he has never been able to do before because of his dyslexia. I feel privileged to have helped him to create his portrait in the written word.

I really enjoyed writing this. It made me think about who I am. I'll do it again perhaps in six months time or a year to see how I've changed.

The questions were incredible. They help you understand who you are and why you act in certain ways, what your priorities are, why you might not be happy in your current position in the world and what you potentially could do to change that. It's really made me think about my job, and what I've done by coming over here and how I treat my friends. They made me think about my family in a whole new light. I realised I just have to come to terms with who I am.

It makes you feel strange reading it, reading my life on a few pieces of paper…strange. I think it's very good, it's very interesting, I mean I could sit here and read that over and over again even though I've just read it.

I really enjoy working on portraits because they force you to realize how interesting people can be and how different we all are; how false are our pre-conceptions of people. The best way to improve your own life is to learn from your mistakes and from the mistakes of others. The sort of conversations that lead to the creation of a portrait offer just these sorts of answers. They are a constant inspiration to me.

Wow, that conversation was amazing, I feel great now. You should all have it done.

I found making a self-portrait very useful. I thought I knew what I was about, but actually having to put it down on paper made me aware that I didn't, or at least that I was much less sure than I thought I was. Subsequent conversations regarding my self-portrait have really clarified who I am and what I want to do in the future.

I don't normally talk about myself this much. It's quite a liberating experience.