10 October 2015

    In Conversation: Digital Creativity

    On issues surrounding content-creation and the implications which digital art can have for conventional art forms.

    View the full interview with Stephanie Lara here

    What made you start blogging?

    For me, blogging started off as a creative vent that allowed me to not only share my work with others, but also be inspired by the creative content of those in the blogging community.

    What is your (design) aesthetic?

    My style is very stripped down, minimal, raw and earth-bound. Whenever I take photographs I always incorporate as many natural elements as I can, especially lighting. The in-between, unnoticed moments of events are also important to me so whenever I’m shooting people, I’m looking for unexpected movements or emotions to capture.

    Has it/how has social media changed your (design) aesthetic?

    At the outset, social media was nothing more than just a way to connect with my friends and post rude comments on each other’s walls or upload a quick (and dodgy) snap of what I was eating; but as time went on, there was a greater recognition of the amount of influence one could hold through this modern phenomenon of social media, so long as they knew how to use it properly. I’ve been on Instagram for a pretty long time and it wasn’t until two years or so ago that I began realising that brands could actually work with influencers through curating content that aligned with the creator’s personal style. So in a sense, social media has opened my eyes to an entirely new world of content-creation and networking, but my personal style and aesthetic have remained constant and unchanging, and brands are realising the importance of that, too.

    Do you feel pressured into presenting your photos in a certain way? If so, example?

    Because my style, as mentioned earlier, is very minimal and simplistic, there are certain photographs I wouldn’t post simply because they wouldn’t fit, for example pictures taken in low (or artificial) lighting or scenes that are too cluttered. That being said, it’s more of a creative choice than a pressurising expectation placed on me by my engaged readers/viewers to limit my creativity.

    How do you feel when you don’t get many likes on a photo? Do you delete it and post another?

    As much as I appreciate numbers and statistics as a method of seeing how well my posts are doing, in a strategic sense of determining how to improve my posts, I find it extremely disturbing that likes are considered so paramount in the ‘status’ of somebody in terms of popularity or fame (how many times have you heard someone utter the term ‘insta-famous’?). So no, I don’t delete photographs solely based on how little likes they receive. If I ever do delete a photograph, it’d be an embarrassing one my friends posted after stealing my phone.

    Vice-versa, how do you feel when you get lots of likes? Does it make you want to share your designs/pictures more?

    It feels awesome! Bearing in mind what I’ve mentioned above and my revulsion with the culture framed upon likes and ‘fame’ being so crucial in order to feel satisfied, I do think likes are like a pat on the back saying ‘well done on creating good content’. So whenever one of my photographs receive a great(er) amount of likes, I see it as motivation to do better next time and also focus, strategically, on posting more photographs of a similar nature.

    Do you think it would be hard to make a living off a blog on social media (as being in the creative industry)?

    As with every industry, there are inherent difficulties with getting into the field and then doing well in the field. To me, I think social media has evolved to become greater than what conventional cultures and values can grasp a hold of, so it’s only natural that anything extending beyond traditional media will be seen as peculiar, or even stupid for some, so that itself is a difficulty in being a content creator on social media. But I think that so long as it’s something that sparks your interest and makes you tick, then your passion for it will override any sort of obstacle that you face, whether it be financially or just somebody telling you that blogging ‘isn’t a real job’.

    Do you think social media helps striving artists to get out there and make a living? If so how/how not?

    Absolutely. Social media enables one to connect with individuals from around the globe and it’s amazing how many opportunities can unfold when your content hits a note with somebody else. Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful tool that not only brands but also artists can use to get themselves out there, which is one of the most important things in the creative field when there are a myriad range of artworks floating everywhere and your voice seems muted in the chaos of everything.

    What do you think about the concept of ‘getting the perfect camera angle’ or flat-lay spreads?

    Admittedly, I am a complete camera-geek when it comes to technicalities so whenever I take a photograph, I’m always looking for bright, natural lighting, and also a good camera angle. That being said, I don’t think there is the ‘perfect camera angle’ because subject matters differ in every context, so there’s no step-by-step, recipe-like methodology you can follow to get ‘the perfect shot’ but I do think that if you have that consciousness of angles, along with all other photographic fundamentals, then you will be able to produce some quality content. Also yes, I love flat-lays. They’re great!

    Finally, do you think social media has become a problem for the arts industry? If not, explain.

    Taking into account all of the aforementioned things I’ve referred to about social media, and the inherent difficulties of something so novel and unusual to have evolved from technological advancements, I think that in a way traditional art forms, like canvas paintings for example, can become somewhat silenced or even ignored because this entire digital form is ‘taking over’ conventional art forms. People are now obsessed with apps like Instagram and even though that is itself ‘art’, there is an entire range of other art forms that can only be fully appreciated with the naked eye when you’re in an art exhibition, in a room, with a group of other admirers. Taking a photograph of a painting and then posting it on Instagram does not do the artwork any justice. And notwithstanding the fact that they’re not explicitly mutually exclusive (in the sense that you can’t have traditional art forms when you have digital art from social media) there are underlying problems that could stir up if the scale tips towards this new, fascinating notion of social media. On the flip side, this sudden obsession with digital art could also just be an evolvement of art in its ever-transformative journey. Like we’ve seen in the past with art evolving throughout certain time periods, this could just be one of them and there’s always something exciting waiting just around the corner.

    Jeffrey Chung Jeffrey Journal In Conversation - Digital Creativity

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    Love your flatlay style – so clean!

    Mr Essentialist

    Your writing is brilliant and your photography is tasteful—I absolutely love catching up with your blog.

    Love this post. Very true and honest. Totally agreeing on the insta-famous, number likes and what nots. If the amount of ‘likes’ affects one’s creativity and passion, that has something to say about whether or not is it blogging for passion or just for fame.


    Real Life Nerd //

    amazing post! thanks for sharing

    Interesting read! I just had a look at your Instagram feed and love your design aesthetics – I’m in awe of its consistency. I’m still finding my way on what to post on Instagram. Ha, I guess I’m finding my way in a lot of areas. Oh well, never a dull moment 😉