Tag Archives: #reflection

Does this mean the end? // Essay 2

Starting a blog this semester has been interesting to say the least. It wasn’t the first time I wrote for a blog; actually, it was the first time I did it for free.

My publication is focused on visual art and storytelling. I am a hobby photographer and I love creating. Whether it be simply taking a photo or editing a photo to create a new world, I love seeing what my mind can come up with. Whenever I see other creators online talk about the behind the scenes of their adventure, process, or life I am interested in their story. This was part of the inspiration to add the story component to my blog. If I want to post about the visuals I create, then I should also tell people the stories of how they come about. The audience that I am hoping to attract is people who are interested in photography, visuals, and the stories behind them. There is an adventure photography niche on Instagram that I am a part of and that is who I am targeting. Another inspiration for my blog is that I want to be a creator, I love making the ideas and notions in my head into realities. In Debbie Chachra’s 2015 article about the privilege of people who make, she describes that creators take pride in their creation and leave their mark on society through their creations, (Chachra, 2015). Although Debbie is arguing against the importance of makers in her article, I love the idea of leaving my mark on something or even inspiring someone with a creation of mine. I don’t necessarily want to leave a trail of products behind me, but create to influence others and have a positive impact in that way. This also speaks to the value I want to provide other people with my publication. Aside from hopefully enjoying the visuals and stories, I want them to be inspired, learn something, or simply feel like they can create too.

Reflecting on this experience I have learned a lot. I have learned that I enjoy writing when it is for me, up to me, and about things that I care about. There is something freeing when you can create and not have to get it approved by your manager. I think this is the feeling that people who quit their jobs to pursue their dreams chase. I am also really vested in documenting. I like the idea of documenting life and moments so that one-day I can look back and see what I’ve done. In the Leetaru article from Forbes, he talks about how the digital world we live in forces us to always be looking forward to the future. The past is just a memory hole that we never look at, (Leetaru, 2017). I understand what he means, most people save digital files on computers, external hard drives, or on clouds and then they never see them again. But when I want to document my life, I don’t just mean take pictures and videos and save them somewhere and leave them. I want to document my life; create vlogs from video clips and blogs from my photos & stories. I want to organize these creations so they are ready to be viewed in an easily accessible archive. As much as my website could be a place for others, it can be a place for me as well.

Moving forward I want to keep this publication going. My goals going forward for this blog would be to keep posting content to it, grow an audience for it, and also keep it organized so I can use it as an archive for myself. I will continue to take photos and have stories that go with them, so having content will not be a problem for me. The challenge will come with being consistent in putting it on my blog. My second goal will be the most challenging. I want to grow an audience for this publication linked to my Instagram. In Lindsay’s article talking about Zoella’s book deal, she talks about how these grown audiences have opened up opportunities elsewhere in creators lives, (Lindsay, 2014). For Zoella, her YouTube channel led to her getting a book deal, for me I am not sure where it would lead. I would love to one day have more opportunities to travel, document, and tell stories from new and exciting places. Therefore, continuing the blog seems like an obvious choice. Instagram would be a great place to grow and flourish, but bringing that audience to my own website will be key. I own the space on my website, which is more valuable then a following on an app that I just have an account on. Investing in a publication that I own, operate, and benefit from seems like a no brainer.

Overall, this whole experiment of creating a website, writing content, and posting it for the world has been a fun ride. I have learned why I want to create and affirmed the idea that it is so freeing to create for myself. It creates a great space to document my life and also in a format that is accessible. Focusing on continuing the blog and growing it could prove fruitful but only time will tell. Anyone out there that loves to create should try just doing it for themselves every once and a while. It can be one of the most freeing activities and maybe it will pour a little life back into your soul. I know that it has for me.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle


References

Chachra, D. (2015). Why I am not a maker. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/

Leetaru, K. (2017). In A digital world, are we losing sight of our undigitized past?      . Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/09/29/in-a-digital-world-are-we-losing-sight-of-our-undigitized-past/#37319061cd01

Lindsay, K. (2014). UNPOPULAR OPINION: These YouTube authors are ruining the publishing industry. Retrieved from https://www.xojane.com/issues/zoella-girl-online-youtube-authors

Unapologetically Me.

There are many people who run makeup and beauty oriented blogs. So, why me? Why am I here, writing this blog? Why is makeup an important enough piece of my life for me to center my whole blog around it? Where did this idea come from? What makes me any different from any other person playing with their makeup? Well, I’m going to tell you. You deserve to know who it is writing to you. I know I always feel more connected to the authors of my favorite content when I know them. So, this is me letting you get to know a bit about me so you can understand what I’m writing and why.

I grew up in a small town where I didn’t really fit in. My whole life, I’ve been loud, outspoken, opinionated, and somewhat aggressive. It wasn’t exactly the most accepted in the community where I grew up. But I made the best of it. At the end of middle school though I made the choice to switch from my small community to going to a private high school in the city. My parents were in support because they have always believed in me and wanted the best for me. So, I started going to high school downtown at an all-girls catholic school.

There were a lot of pros to making that decision in my life. The main one was many of us did not care about makeup or fashion. We were too focused on trying to get great grades and find time to sleep to bother. The daily uniform tended to revolve around sweats. The benefit of this was twofold: more sleep in the morning and not learning to rely on makeup to cover up my insecurities. I struggled through high school and puberty based insecurity and a whole other host of struggles without using makeup as a crutch. I believe this let me develop a very different relationship with makeup and beauty over my adolescence.

Believe it or not, I didn’t actually start really using makeup until I was 18 years old. I had used a product here and there for events and such, but I didn’t become invested in it until after I graduated from high school and had been forced to face most of my ‘I’m ugly’ demons. So, makeup was never, and has never become, about making myself more beautiful. My relationship with makeup is about one thing: self expression. I discovered YouTubers and bloggers, like Zoella and Tanya Burr, and started learning from them. I loved seeing the different things they would express with different types of makeup. It was inspiring.

The summer after my senior year I spent hours watching videos, researching products, saving up money, practicing techniques, and slowly but surely figuring out what I was doing. I love allowing my makeup to reflect what it is I am feeling. Makeup can send a message to everyone around you, whether they are your best friend or a stranger you pass on the street. It is a powerful form of art. And it is a form of self love for me. Because I do not allow others to dictate what I do and do not put on my face. My style is mine and mine alone. I am me and no one will ever take that away from me.

So, that is why I am here. Makeup is my passion. Makeup is my art. Makeup is a part of who I am and how I show myself to the world. Wearing makeup does not make me weak or insecure. It does not make me a liar or a fraud or shallow. I am here, writing this blog, in the hopes that inspires other people to express themselves freely and fiercely. I am a highly flawed person. But I do not let that stop me from being myself. And neither should you. Let’s be unapologetically who we are together.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

The post Unapologetically Me. appeared first on Beauty As Art.

PUB101 Essay #2

Twelve weeks ago, I had never published any expression of myself which was not heavily curated through a well developed or popular social media platform. I published myself on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Wattpad, yet there wasn’t anything more daunting than the idea of a completely self-driven space such as this blog. Twelve weeks ago I had never heard of what a “personal cyberinfrastructure” was or how many layers latticed the foundation of a simple website. In the past, my online publications were straightforward. Now, I type this with swirling ideas of digital publics and monetization in my head. However, what I did know twelve weeks ago was that I was incredibly excited. I had no clue where to even begin but, scrolling giddily through hundreds of WordPress themes that night after our first lecture, my heart leaped simply at the chance to publish myself: creations, opinions, and identity.

My blog began as a scattered jumble of my interests. However, as the weeks went on and the lengthy category menu leading to many empty pages began collecting dust, I decided to dwindle it down to a baking blog. Dreaming of cookbook worthy images and creative recipes which I had never thought to try before, I realized my underlying plan was to create a quintessential baking blog full of Pinterest inspiration at every click. The audience I initially imagined in my head was very similar – if not the same – audience as Pinterest, the popular photo-based platform used by mainly females in their twenties and up looking to cook, create, and design. To attract this audience, I focused on using plenty of large high quality images, a casual writing style, bright colours, simplistic designs, and obvious links to my various social media accounts. Travis Gertz warned against falling under the generic theme in this article on a website full of unique graphics which I could never comprehend how to build into my own site. I did end up with a theme which Gertz sees as a standard issue copy of many other popular websites with the large image and overlay text. However, I feel as though it was a safe place to start which I not only found aesthetically pleasing, but thought my potential audience would too.

Although I understand that advertising is an important element of boosting a website’s success, I have not yet ventured into the territory of monetization as you may have read in this Process Post. In an article about a small website business shutting down due to low revenue, Brian Feldman explained that creators have the ability to create content but are rarely making enough money to get paid to do so. At the moment, my blog isn’t something I’m interested in being a source of income. While I don’t know where I might end up in the future, I don’t feel as though my blog will ever be of any physical value. Instead of a monetary value, I believe my website provides the value of inspiration to those who are looking. Much like many other food blog browsers, I look for beautifully plated food and innovative recipes to boost my creativity. I can only hope that one day – when my blog is not still wheeling through the web on training wheels – mine could spark that same sense of creativity.

It is important to remind myself that my blog has barely started. Not only does this justify my dismal traffic data, but it is reassuring to imagine the places it still may reach. Truthfully, I’m not sure how many genuine audience members I have received yet that are neither my mother or spam bots. Some of my recipes have collected lovely comments – even a few from outside my friends and family bubble – but I have noticed that the most attention I get is from spam comments. Fortunately, I can simply filter out these comments before they are seen publicly on my page, yet they are still a pressing nuisance whenever I log in. Due to this influx of obscene messages usually baiting the receiver to click some sort of link, I have decided to look into a test for my comment section to simply filter out some robots designed to send out mass spam responses. As we discussed in class, a Norwegian website proposed introducing a quiz filtering system which users would need to fill out before being enabled to leave comments. While this is more geared towards letting readers cool off before typing out a rant and ensuring that the entire article was read entirely, it is a thorough example of a moderating system which could block out spammers.

Twelve weeks later, I guess I still don’t really know what I’m doing. This course has taught me useful skills which I will carry on in both my blog publications and any other social media post I share; knowing that whatever I publish contributes to the constant shaping of my online self. I am also not sure how long this specific website will carry on. I love this blog, I love what I’m posting, and I even have an idea for an entirely new post series, but I want to make sure that I am working on this blog to the best of my abilities. Neglectful, I feel as though I wasn’t able to fully mold this website to its full potential in the fog of other pressures and deadlines weighing on my life. I rushed through some things – unfortunate, but true – and I want to make sure that I dedicate the time this blog deserves in the future. Kadunbar.com will remain active for now, and I will be committing further to shaping my publication of self online. Twelve weeks later, my website is a little underdone and all over the place but, it’s mine. And that makes me pretty damn happy.

Reflections amongst the clouds and rain

It has been a rainy week here in Vancouver. Which is completely normal for us. And honestly, I don’t mind rain. Rain is just water. A little water never hurt anyone. Living here, you basically have to get used to it.

I am starting to get to the point where I’m struggling to think of new things to write about. After looking back at my posts, I realized I haven’t done as much reflecting as perhaps I would have liked to do. So hence this blog post. I have been feeling very meh lately. And I don’t think I can entirely blame it on the rainy weather. It’s crazy to think that this is the 2nd to last week of classes. That means that there is only 3 weeks until I am done being a University student forever. I don’t know exactly how to feel about that. On the one hand, I can’t even describe how much I am looking forward to not having constant homework 24/7. The great thing about work is that once you’re done, you’re done (for the most part anyways – it depends on the job). But on the other hand, it’s now time for me to join the real world and that is a scary thought. I’ve never not been a student and I can no longer say that I am anymore… I’m just, what? An adult?

I don’t have an exact career path in mind and this also kind of scares me. Right now, I am leaning towards wanting to do corporate communications. Or something like that anyways. But it is SO hard to get into that area. The competition is insane and companies will always choose someone who has experience over someone who doesn’t. I am fully preparing to be trying for a really long time before I get a job opportunity. I’m also trying to be open to possible different careers if something comes along that isn’t what I first think of. After all, anything is experience and at this point, I don’t really know what I like or don’t like.

I suppose this post is more me revealing my insecurities regarding the future. I am trying to remind myself that the way I am feeling is completely normal. I do currently have a job (retail) which I don’t totally hate so I suppose that’s good… I’m planning on keeping that and investing my newly-freed time into job hunting when school is done. The future is so unpredictable and it’s useless to try to plan it out too much anyways. For now, I’ll just try to remain optimistic and open-minded and see what comes along.