There seems to be those people in social media realm that just look brilliantly natural in every single picture they post no matter the angle, pose or face expression. Then there are people like me who mostly end up looking awkward with weird smirks and beady eyes, features that make me look like a combination of a confused alien and stuffed rodent, which is not exactly the look...Read More
If you've been following me along on Instagram you've probably seen that I've posted new stuff very consistently for the last 6 months or so. The reason that I've posted almost daily has been to improve my photography and visual storytelling skills, and also because I've just really enjoyed the process of making and sharing my work everyday.
And so, when I hit a creative slump and felt completely stuck creatively last week, I kinda panicked...Read More
In the last month I've had three big engagement spikes in the social media world, or to be more precise, on Instagram.
The first one happened when my picture got featured on Instagram's own page, you can read more about that here, and the second spike happened a few weeks ago when a picture of mine got over a 10,000 likes that resulted in over a 1000 new followers in one day, which are HUGE numbers by my standards. Then just a few days ago my picture got featured again (!?!) by Instagram as part of the weekends hashtag project.
Now that means my pictures got featured twice in a one month, which is absolutely insane and makes my socks wiggle and swirl around and do all kinds of fancy moves from excitement. And, even though the true joy of sharing creative work online lies in the connections and feeling of being part of a community much more than looking at the numbers, it does undoubtedly feel good to get validation that what I'm putting out in the world is resonating with people.
But, as I was dancing in the disco ball light of the online world, there was another peculiar feeling that hit me, namely a weird sense of passiveness. A feeling I wasn't quite prepared for.
Suddenly the engagement on my account skyrocketed without me actively doing anything, which immediately made me question, should I be doing something? It felt weird to passively stand by and see how the likes and new followers kept rolling in even though I wasn't actively doing anything right at that moment, I become almost like an outside witness to the whole thing And then an ambiguous fear started to creep in, maybe this would all be taken away from me if I didn't do something to show that I've truly earned it? Could I just lean back and allow myself to enjoy this moment and let go of my own fate? Just trust that my destiny is in the safe hands of the universe while I kick back for a moment?
Ok, so maybe I'm being slightly over dramatic here, it is after all only Instagram we're talking about. However, I think these feelings might be common when it comes to reacting to a small breakthrough of some sort. When that moment something you've wanted to happen for a really long time finally does come true, you start being afraid of losing it if you allow yourself to enjoy it too much. How can celebrating our victories be so difficult while talking about our struggles seems to come so naturally?
For me personally this might partly be due to the fact that I'm much more used to the feeling of trying really hard without really knowing if what I'm doing is going to resonate with anyone else or if it's any good. So the feeling of success is just kinda, strange.
While I'll continue to practice celebrating my successes without becoming numb and terrified, I'll remind myself that feeling like I'm failing is actually not a bad thing at all. On the contrary, whenever I feel like I'm failing or not achieving what I want I start to work that much harder. Whenever I'm feeling dissatisfied with my work I kick in another gear and start pouring all my effort and energy into it which I probably wouldn't do if I would feel confident and safe.
How about you, do you struggle with celebrating your successes? How does the feeling of having a breakthrough affect your work and creativity?
On Tuesday morning I woke up to the carefully uttered words by my boyfriend “hey, I know it's annoying to wake up so early.. but something's going on with your Insta account, you've gotten a thousand new followers since last night”.
I jumped out of bed because I immediately had a hunch what was going on, my entry for the weekends hashtag project might have gotten featured, yippieee! I rushed to my phone, hair standing up straight and drool still on my cheeks. And yes, there it was, me and Luna the cat on the front page of Instagrams own 226 million follower account!...Read More
I spend a lot of time on Instagram and, like many others, I too have noticed that flowers is a very popular theme. With such a huge inflation in the topic of flower related imagery you would think it would become boring, but I certainly haven't found that and that makes me wonder: what is it that makes flowers so incredibly enticing and charming collaborators?
I came across a wonderful book by Siri Hustvedt a few year ago where she speaks about this power that flower have over us. In her essay she writes:
“When there are flowers in a room my eyes are drawn to them. I feel their presence in a way that I do not feel chairs, sofas, coffee tables, curtains. Their fascination for me must be connected to the fact that they are alive, not dead. The attraction is prereflective- it rises up in my body before any articulated thought. Before I can name the flowers (if I can), before I can tell myself that I am attracted to the blooms, their pleasurable sensation has arrived.”
Maybe, like Siri points out, the fact that flowers are living things connects us to the flowers in a deeper and more primitive way than we even realize. The connection is instant and physical rather than contemplated and rational.
Maybe the presence of flowers conjure up something similar to the sensation you get from looking up at the huge night sky. That sense of wonder and humbleness you get from seeing something that seems so infinite is something that feels overwhelming in a good way. I think flowers have the ability to do the same in a different and more direct way.
“...And I find my encounters with these quickening but senseless plants so absorbing that I do not narrate them. This is odd because I am continually putting words to the living, always forming sentences that accompany me as I greet a person, sit at a dinner party, stroll on the street, but there is no inner voice that follows me in the garden. My head goes silent.”
And maybe that last sentence is where the other part of the magic of flowers lie- we are invited into a state of silence. A state where our constant inner voices and thoughts slow down and quiet for a while.
*Quotes from Siri Hustvedts book Living, Thinking, Looking