Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Avoid Looking Stupid.

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Basically, don't do what everyone else is doing.

This advice might sound contrary to what you believe, but I don't think so. I first stumbled upon this nugget of information years ago while interviewing a very sweet Sydney-based artist. She advised to keep all streams of creative influence wide and varied, that way you are constantly inspired and less likely to be too derivative.

I think this is good advice where many creative pursuits are concerned, one especially being blogging but it's also great general life advice.


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I'm not qualified to inform anyone what makes a 'good' blog post, personal essay or photo set. But I will advise this: Don't do what everyone else is doing, it's already been done.

Therefore dusted, therefore too late. This means the world is ready and looking for something new and different.

The lovely Zoe London made a video on her Youtube channel a little while ago which offered similar advice: Don't spend too much time looking at other blogs. Why? Because if you don't already have a steady stream of inspiration you will simply end up doing what's already been done, and that ain't how you make it as a successful writer or blogger (clearly I know, I've made a grand total of $4.00AUD from my blog).

It's true though. How many reviews of various Naked palette's can even the most fiendish of make-up geeks read, how many more 'Wreck This Journal' photo-set's with an accompanying paragraph about how 'therapeutic' the process was can any young woman (or man, or non-binary individual) stomach?

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I'm not saying these subjects are awful to write about (although Urban Decay did sell out and now test their product on animals, so um...insert your definition of evil here) but they have been done before. These topics are over. We are now all well aware of how to achieve a decent 'every day make-up' look using Buck and Fawn. We are now all well aware that your products look good on a marble bench-top saturated with white light. What I'm saying is, do something different. Think differently, open yourself up to new experiences, throw shit at the wall and see if it sticks. Experimentation is well worth the effort if it will help you create yourself and your brand. 'Cause sweetheart, the peter-pan collared Urban Decay buff has already been made, and she did it purely by being herself.



All that experimentation, all those sore feet, awkward haircuts, sari's worn as dresses and drag-queen-esque make-up will one day become a part of your story. Talking about the time you threw up on your best friends shoes will not destroy you (hell, shit like that MADE Lena Dunham) it will help you create yourself. It will help you create your own story and then imagine, your story will be plastered to the internet for you to look back on one day, for others to learn from, draw inspiration from and realise the very, very important message that people do not all have to be the same. We should take inspiration from each other's quirks and eccentricities to be ourselves. 

It would be the strangest, most presumptuous thing to expect to 'find' oneself. As though before your random creation and 1 in 4 billion chance of being made, the universe was so kind as to carve you a special place in it's vastness. No.
Carve your own place, create yourself.

Xo,

Ellen 


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