Wednesday 30 July 2014

Time for a Selfie?!

Hello my dears, i've spent the last few days pondering what to write about on here and I wasn't really planning on posting anything this week but yesterday and today I worked on a new Candy Doll illustration, so I figured I might as well post that.

So, meet the latest Candy Doll...

Yes she's a candy coloured girl with pastel pretty hair and a princess dress but you may also notice that her pose is that of someone taking a 'selfie'. (in fact, it's based on THIS selfie by the very gorgeous Missi Mouse)

Now i'm going to assume that when I say 'selfie' you all know what I mean. In today's world it's difficult not to pick up on trends flying around the internet and selfies are a phenomenon that i'm guessing you'll have heard of or seen on many occasions, or at least once or twice.

For example, here is a 'selfie' from my own instagram profile, note the camera phone clutched in my hand. (I should warn you, you're going to see a lot of my face throughout this post so if you are personally offended by my face, then bugger off. Leave now if you want, either way it's happening)

In simple terms a 'selfie' is a picture someone takes of themselves, usually reflected in a mirror or by dangling their phone/tablet in front of their face. You don't have to be alone in a selfie, you could snap a photo with your pet, spouse, family or whichever random celeb you've managed to corner, but i'm pretty sure for it to qualify as a selfie YOU have to be in the picture as well.

Now i'm not a big selfie poster but I do occasionally partake in the odd one when i'm feeling happy. I recently spoke to some people i'd never met who had heard of my work (it's a small island) they commented on the content of my instagram and one of them said 'I went to follow you but it's all pictures of you!'. This got me thinking because A) it is so NOT all pictures of me and B) so what if it was?!

Like many artists and creative types, I use social media to promote and sell my work but sometimes it can be good to remind people of the person behind the drawings, I follow so many incredible artists on Instagram and you can guarantee that every so often they'll post a snap of themselves. I also follow dozens of people who work in so many other areas and they ALL post regular photos of themselves, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and family. In an age where people can share photos of anything and everything, whose to say it's wrong for them to share a photo of themselves.

There are mixed opinions about the torrents of selfies now populating the pages of virtually all the social media sites but personally I think they're a great idea! Hardly new or novel in existence, people have been taking selfies since cameras were invented (see for yourself HERE), so why should they come under fire now for snapping the odd shot of themselves.

As someone who really dislikes having her photo taken, I seem to have no trouble snapping ten pictures of myself posing and pouting in my bathroom mirror. Which is what makes selfies such an appealing form of expression, you are in complete control of the outcome, so it's a very personal thing to stand there and scrutinize yourself and snap a photo of what you see.

Instagram is a great platform for sharing things with the world, i regularly share snaps of my products and creations, books i'm reading, lovely scenery or my friends and family. but I don't think there should be any shame in posting pictures of myself.

For me selfies are a way of sharing my face with the world, or inflicting it upon it, either way sometimes it can be nice to post a shot of the face behind the online profile. If i'm having a particularly bad day, i'm more likely to shun social media but if it's been a lovely day and i've had a smile on my face then sometimes I like to share that smile.

I have low enough self esteem as it is so I think in some ways posting the occasional photo of myself on my instagram or twitter gives me a little boost in the confidence department, which is something I think most of us could do with from time to time. Even if nobody even sees it, just knowing that i've had the courage to share a photo of myself with the world is enough of a boost. Obviously it's even nicer when friends or family (or strangers!) post positive comments or hit the 'like' button.

I don't have many days where I feel truly good about myself, so you can guarantee that I must be having a brilliant day if it warrants a spontaneous selfie!

I first joined instagram in late October 2012 (when I got my iPhone). The very first picture I ever posted was related to Ghostbusters (obviously) but the third photo I shared was a selfie. My first ever proper phone selfie to tell the truth. I took it the Saturday before Halloween, standing in a toilet cubicle at Tesco, because as you know I live a very glamourous and exotic life.

Now I can't remember exactly how I felt or what I was thinking at the time but i'd just been to the cinema with my best friends to watch Ghostbusters so I was probably fizzing over with happiness. I'd dressed up in a big red polka dot swing dress with red lipstick to match + sparkly devil horns (because I fail spectacularly at all Halloween costumes) since that weekend lost of people were dressing up to walk around Douglas, so that was my contribution. And obviously, I felt that I needed to share that with the world, hence the selfie.

I remember getting teased a bit by some friends online, nothing bad but people seemed amused that i'd taken the time to post a picture of myself. So now (all this time later, I know...) it got me wondering why we make such a big deal of it?! It's not a crime, feeling good enough to post a picture of yourself smiling like a dork.

There shouldn't be anything negative about trying to boost your own self esteem from time to time so i'm not sure why so many people feel bad about posting a snap of themselves. You should just do it! Feeling bored? Go ahead and pull a daft pose in the mirror. Do you love your new outfit? Share a pic. Are you having a good day? Share your smile. Did your hair look amazing today? Share a photo so everyone can see how strong your hair game is! Don't be ashamed of yourself, show the world how awesome you are.

This is the most recent 'selfie' from my instagram. I'd had a really nice day out with my family, i'd worn my favourite red lipstick all day and when I got home I was trying to find a new home for my Betty Boop figurines. My lipstick was still neat so I decided to have a go at imitating Betty's famous pout. It's a silly picture, it was frivolous and totally unnecessary but it was FUN. So I posted it.

Now I know what you're probably thinking, crikey Jade you're posting a LOT of photos of your face, you must really love yourself and i'll stop you right there because NO. As i've mentioned, I have a lot of issues with self confidence and self esteem, I tend to have a very low opinion of myself but I am occasionally granted days when I don't feel so self depreciating, these days are few and far between so when they do appear I have to grasp hold of them and ride the wave of confidence. If that results in my shamelessly posting a photo of my own face then so be it, it's better than hating myself constantly, which I usually seem to do.

Anyway you'll be glad to know that that is the last snap i'll share today (hallelujah!) I seem to have forgotten the point I was trying to make but I think essentially what i wanted to say was don't be ashamed of sharing photos of yourself, if you feel good about yourself then let the world know.

I can't help but wonder though, do YOU post a lot of selfies or are you utterly camera shy? If you have access to a camera phone or tablet with a camera, I think you should go and post a selfie. Maybe not right now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. DO IT! No regrets.

and on that sickeningly positive and upbeat note, i'll bid you all adieu.

If any of you do feel brave enough to post a selfie, please do link me to it in the comments below, I would literally LOVE to see your faces. It would fill my tiny shriveled heart with eternal joy.

So until next time, that's all folks. Thanks for making it to the end of the post, that means you managed to wade through my garrulous ramblings. WELL DONE!