Instagram. What an absolutely fascinating place. Despite not being a user of platform until recently, I’ve been secretly admiring the filters on Instagram for some time. I saw people’s Insta posts dotted around in other locations on the internet and hatched a theory that the filters can make any old crap look good. Like, really, any old random, unimportant, aesthetically jarring rubbish. You don’t even need the slightest inkling of photography skills, just a phone and the urge to take photos of, well, whatever you darn well please. Whoever made those filters is a Goddamn genius. GENIUS, I tell you.(more…)
I’ve recently discovered ‘flexing’. What is that, you ask? I’m not convinced that anyone really knows for sure but I think it’s very amusing. Flexing, or maybe I should call it ‘flexin’, isn’t the thing that happens when you tense your muscles – well, it is the thing that happens when you tense your muscles, but that’s not the kind of flexin’ that I’m talking about. What I’m talking about translates to ‘showing off’; flaunting your material wealth and using this as a barometer to demonstrate to others how worthy you are as a person. It’s not a new concept and the term ‘flexin’ has been around for ages, but I should state that the cutting edge of culture (especially American culture) doesn’t reach me at the rock under which I live until way after the event, so if you already know what I’m talking about you’re probably thinking “Pfff, gurl where you been?”(more…)
When I was little, I was excited about the prospect of adult life. I envisaged a whole world of adventure and possibility, no bed time and no one around to tell you what to do. Adults seem like they have their shit together. Things make sense to them and they know about stuff and, as a kid, I wanted some of that for myself. Being a kid is tough. No one takes you seriously, you have to do what people tell you and and you’re really small so there are many things you need help with, like opening impossible crisp packets and the vexing task of tying your shoelaces. Plus you have to go to school, which, for me, anyway, was a confusing, terrible place that felt like a twelve-year prison sentence. So I longed for the day I could burn my school uniform and do what I wanted in the world of grown-ups.(more…)
You know what I’m completely sick of? Seeing those ‘inspirational’ quote posters, but when you read the quote it quickly becomes apparent how utterly meaningless and hollow it is, like the soul of a career politician. They’re complete rubbish; an eel in the desert makes more sense.
People go mad for them at the moment. They’re littering social media like rubbish on a hot day at the beach. But here’s the thing: I’m convinced that people are pretending to understand them in order to make themselves seem cool and inspirational. Those people share them on their social media, thinking “Ah, yes, everyone will see how cool and deep I am when they see this intellectual, philosophical shit” not realising (or caring?) that the words are empty and the quote makes no sense.
Alarmingly, though, the act of people sharing the quote legitimises the poster’s meaning as something does makes sense: if loads of people claim to understand it, then it becomes something that can be understood. Even if the quote is still meaningless, and those people are probably lying.
It reminds me of when people use long words because they want to show how clever they are but in reality they don’t fully understand the words and so end up using them in the wrong context and essentially looking like a complete knob.
Even more annoying is when the quotes are from people that no one’s heard of (again, I’m sure they’re made-up people) but the fact that they’re being quoted makes it seem like their nonsensical opinion matters and you should care. You shouldn’t care. Don’t even think about caring.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a cool font and a bit of bokeh nature photography but, I mean, shit, will people write literally anything just to get a few likes on Instagram?
To be fair to inspirational posters, there are many out there that contain quotes that are indeed uplifting but, unfortunately, as is the case with so many good things in life, the idiots have capitalised on the idea and filled the pot with rubbish.
I realise that I’m probably swimming upstream here and should perhaps just get over myself. The internet has become a place where anyone’s ridiculous, ill-informed opinion is accepted (including mine!) and that’s just how it is in the 21st century. So, I made my own inspirational poster:
Recently I’ve been feeling quite annoyed with the elitism that exists in, well, so many industries but in particular, it seems, the creative industries. It’s absolutely crazy how many hoops employers expect graduates to jump through (graduates, who already worked their arse off for a degree) just to get an entry-level, underpaid, pretty boring job. I can’t even comprehend how many talented artists or film makers or graphic designers etc are out there slogging away in a job that’s completely unrelated (some godforsaken pub or insurance company), wasting their talents, just because no company – no individual, even – has given them a chance.
And, on the other hand, there’s the financial sting of the cost of some of the kit that creatives need in order to produce the quality stuff that they need to produce in order to be taken seriously. Think of the cost of a film camera, for example (it’s hundreds of pounds) and then the ridiculous price tag on fancy Adobe software to edit or to create your graphic design logos (again, it’s hundreds). Crazy. You could dissect the issue all day long and not get anywhere because there are many factors affecting the current sorry state of affairs for graduates seeking employment, and, I think, as many myths (the economy is to blame; you must have a degree; only people born on a Wednesday will get a good job).
So, fired up on frustration with – dare I say it – ‘the system’ I became hellbent on proving that you don’t need a whole load of fancy equipment to get creative and produce something that looks nice. Besides, the kind of ‘thinking outside the box’ that this requires is a very valuable skill. You’re not relying on your equipment to get the effect you want, but you are instead thinking how you might create that effect some other way.
And this is what I ended up with. I used my phone to capture footage of the garden during mid-summer, trying to make flowers and nature look cool and interesting. I fashioned a microphone from a pair of old headphones to record birds tweeting to accompany my footage. I’m actually impressed with the quality of my phone’s video – it manages to hold together even in full screen. Good job, phone. I’m also secretly fond of my Franken-mic. It looks like crap, but, who cares? It didn’t cost me anything! The film’s not going to win any awards, let’s not kid ourselves here, but, hey, it was a fun project and it got me filming and editing again.
Ok, enough ranting now. Check out the video below, and never, ever, be put off by people telling you you need this or that expensive thing in order to be a creative or produce something worthwhile. Of course you don’t need that stuff. That kind of narrow-minded attitude goes against everything it means to be an artist.