Beauty in the Conventional
I studied fine art at university, from a small age it was relatively obvious I lacked interest in anything remotely academic, creative fields was the direction for me. I based a lot of my projects around ‘real subjects’ bringing to life beauty in the ordinary, everyday and mundane, I found I could appreciate things simply for what they were and find splendor in the most unusual of things. My degree show exhibited floor to wall black and white photographs of buildings, but not the buildings that would first come to mind. For me it was derelict buildings, rundown buildings, buildings that were being demolished (strange right?) But there was something about capturing their rareness, they displayed a unique quality, not a quality as obvious in an-others eye but it was that intermittent quality that made me attracted to them. Finding beauty in conventional things or places. Hope I’ve not lost you at this point, but I feel it’s an important element to the development of my character and a skill I am glad I have.
Being creative is a damn good thing, my Instagram is my new art form and the new way I choose to exhibit, it’s the only ‘art’ I have since becoming a mum, a real life adult and non-young student. The only real difference now is my subject matter is ‘me’, it’s my life, my husband, my home and my children. What an amazing chance we have to create a little social media portfolio that’s ours forever, wither that be for personal use or artistic use. I’m taking great advantage and crafting my place to be full to the brim with ‘all my best bits’ so to speak. Taking pretty pictures is something I enjoy; colour, light, shape, composition… and I take great pride in always finding these opportunities to capture the perfect image, images that tell a story. The story is mine and I’m in love with sharing it.
However more recently than ever I keep feeling the need to justify myself, defending my love of sharing a flawless feed for the fear that others may interpret this as a fabricated lie. I’ve been met with comments like ‘I really like your Instagram but its not real life though is it?’ or ‘Wish I could just get sent free stuff.’ Or ‘Why does your house always look so clean, surely its not?’ Well of course its not, I have no magic washing basket that swallows my dirty laundry then fires it out all fresh and clean. Nor do I have children that always smile and play ball, they occasionally are not the perfect little characters they may appear to be. However, Could I (and others) perhaps just like to focus on the positive, to actually find joy in the most customary of things? Can we limit the personal and far from perfect photos to just our camera rolls? This isn’t because we want to upset anyone or create a false idea of motherhood, it’s without a doubt healthy to recognize that life is a roller coaster of highs and lows which is why I’m always very honest in my captions but where is the harm in trying to highlight those ups as much as we can. It really is a wonderful life we have, so I would be damned to not grab those charming moments by the hand and march them to my Instagram feed. In the hope to inspire others to do the same. Following other feeds like mine has made me a better person, a better mum, a better friend and has opened my eyes immensely.
I find inspiration from a vast array of Instagram influencers, from the honest knitty gritty accounts to the beautifully presented accounts, I can appreciate them both equally even though they teach me from different ends of the spectrum. I respect that some don’t feel the need to sugar coat and others aren’t as relaxed at letting us look behind the scenes. I like to think myself as falling somewhere in the middle, but I want to always return to my feed and feel that happiness, the happiness I have felt each and every day (even if it was only for a few minutes) and if that happiness is a photograph of a well kept living space, a bunch of fresh flowers or a flat-lay of my children’s clothes then so be it. Those simple delights are what keep me content, and I’m entitled to them, as are you. I make flower arrangements when my beloved bunch die, I change the prints in my frames regularly, I make seasonal displays for the ultimate shelfie and (if I can) I always face my children towards the light when photographing them. I perhaps would never of said that out loud before for the fear that it would sound completely ludicrous, but its not ludicrous, its my little bit of splendor and I will continue to share in that style despite the (very small amount of) negativity.
Finding beauty in the conventional, is not a flaw. Nor is choosing to share it.