I have a new addiction. He loves Taco Bell (and tacos in general). His favorite color is purple. His favorite animal is a sloth. He used to be a band drummer. He has a MAKE tattoo on his left wrist. He claims to be a fictional character on Facebook. He is the host of vsauce3. He wears a pizza t-shirt and an Ash cap (from Pokemon). He does voice impressions. And he’s the Web’s @jakerawr. Ladies, meet Jake Roper.

Jake does inspirational talks in his lovely voice over his personal channel on YouTube. I’ve seen a couple of his clips, most of them I only watched yesterday. One of them was him explaining his MAKE. tattoo.

And it made me want to create as well. Just one video even made me complete a painting last night – despite being tired from work and traffic. It was a staring contest video, and as you’ve surely figured out, I didn’t even try to compete but just take him all in. Take all of him in.

the many faces of jake roper

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As I was trying to capture him on paper (while watching his staring contest video and taking and checking screen grabs), I figured that I couldn’t completely copy his image, each line per pixel, every color per box. I couldn’t do it.

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So I tried to improvise. And I was erasing and changing as I went. I remembered how much I edited my sketches when I was younger. I copied small images from teks (small paper images that you threw in the air like little shuriken), or stickers; and because they were small, I couldn’t see some parts clearly. So, I had to reimagine what some parts were or completely go to a different direction. Eventually, I realized that it was just me being really bad at proportions. But I continued editing. With last night, I continued trying to make him look as much like Jake as I see him.

So, this Jake that I have is probably non-existent online. I made this from watching several videos and stalking his socials. Here, his face is from the staring contest video, his beanie from his limits video, and this galaxy shirt is from his surprise visit video to Mikayla Snow.

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I have a bad habit of staring into my paintings and picking out the tiniest details that are wrong (- what I love most is staring into portraits -) and telling myself “It’s done.”

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So, yeah, hello, Jake. Guess you’re gonna win this staring contest again.

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