I personally have always dreaded approaching drawing or painting myself, aside from the fact I apparently have no idea what I look lit since people tell me the end results never look like ME. Every time I do aproach using myself as the model, I always wind up discovering more about myself. I dont think as artists we can spend that much time on a subject and NOT learn something about the model, even if it is ourselves
The benefit to using ourself as a model of course is access. We dont have to pay ourselves to model, we can work whatever hours we wish and we dont have to carry on a conversation with ourselves, unless of coure you really want to . Many artists are known to us through history as a result of their self portraits... Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh to name a few. Their paintings give us a glimpse to who they were not as an artist... but as a person. In the case of Rembrandt for example, we get to see him age through the years via a series of self portraits. The older version is much more humble then the arrogant young Rembrandt.
These self portraits I think are successful because they reveal something about the artist. See if you can learn something about these artists from a glimpse into their portraits!