• Question number one is in response to the piece that Taylor wrote at the Atlantic about the Instagram aesthetic dying that I was interviewed for, and someone's just asking to kind of elaborate on that. If you haven't seen the piece Tim put a link up somewhere to it, I know it's been making its way around the internet pretty quickly over the last couple of weeks and I've gotten a couple questions about it. Essentially you know what Taylor was talking about in the piece is that this overly pretty Instagram aesthetic is dying, there like stand in front of a pink wall, hold a big bouquet of I don't know what do people hold. What are those like big thing hydrangeas wrapped in butcher paper, and like smile really wide, like that aesthetic, is dying? She did an incredible job reporting the piece and really dove in and talked to not only influencers who are kind of going against the grain. One of them was Reese from double-exposure who we've talked about a good amount, but also looking at brands she was looking at like kind of meme accounts and Balenciaga who you know has been growing their Instagram really quickly, and outpacing their luxury fashion counterparts as far as growth rate and engagement goes. It's just talking about you know how the aesthetic of Instagram is changing and it's going from really pretty to kind of purposefully ugly almost, and like really kind of grimy and that like it's following the larger kind of grunge trend that we're seeing in fashion.

    There's a lot of like early '90s fashion coming back, this has been happening for years now. It was an interesting conversation about what influencers should be thinking about and how does this truth affect people? If it's the case that like people don't want pretty anymore, what do you do as an influencer if that's your niche? If that's the thing that you're good at. The other and I think that it is important to kind of understand the trends, I think it's important to know like why that is doing well, it's important to understand why people think Balenciaga is doing a good job even though Balenciaga is terrible, and I think everything they produce is total crap. But it is very much like in the cultural lexicon right now. It is like very much like the vibe and I think that it is really important to understand that. To understand that might be why your content isn't doing that well.

    Now how you react to that I think is a different story, and we've talked about this before but something I've been thinking about is just asking yourself why you do this at all, and I think it is really important to continue to have fun with this and to enjoy the stuff that you're putting out into the world. If you are chasing growth or chasing engagement and you are doing that by co-opting someone else's aesthetic to try and jump on a trend so that you can grow. I'm not sure you're going to be happy, now may be your end goal is just growth and you just want to have as many followers as possible. If that's the case, I would say like go buy some bright orange coveralls and some really ugly sunglasses and like take pictures of yourself like squatting on the ground like doing something with your hands this I think is what the kids do, I think they like kind of squat down and like sit and coveralls and they're like oh, my clothes are ugly but like I'm interesting.

    Again this is not a new thing, I believe young people have throughout history dressed like morons to try and piss off old people. Again I don't think this is is really any kind of like big surprising thing that is happening, and honestly not that much different than when grunge was popular last time in the '90s. You got to think we were coming out of the '80s where there was a huge economic boom, everyone had money, it was very ostentatious, it was all about like cocaine in Armani suits and then grunge came along and it was like the total opposite of that right, it was a rejection of all of those things. What right now we are in you know an unprecedented-- the economy is doing great right now. People have a lot of money.

    I think youth like young people I think it's just a pretty similar cultural moment that that was happening back in the back in the '90s-- sorry in the late 80d into the 90s. is that like a rejection of beautiful things that can set young people apart from their crustier older counterparts such as myself. I do think it is important to understand these things, but again as I was saying in the intro, I don't think it's important or interesting to jump on to trends that you don't believe in. Now, if you want to play around with it if you want to experiment like I think that is awesome. I think that like a big part of creativity is experimentation, it is trying new things, it is you know taking like keeping your eyes open to like inputs and like to seeing different things, and then interpreting those things and like trying something new.

    I know I've said quite a few times on the show that like when I was into photography so much of my journey was copying photographers that I really respected, and I would see one of Jamie Beck's photos and I would try to as closely as I could copy it. I often wouldn't publish those photos, but that's how I kind of honed my craft and tried to get better, was by seeing if I could take a photo of the same thing and it was easy because we were both in New York. I could literally go to the same locations and things that she was in, and I would try and take the same exact photo. By doing that I would force myself to learn the techniques that she used without being able to ask her.

    I think that like exploring trends like that can be really really valuable, but I think you can also get lost in them and lose your individuality which is at the end of the day the only thing that is going to set you apart in this world and help you gain a following, and I think that's a real, like a real thing to consider if you are thinking about chasing a trend, is how are you going to continue to keep your unique point of view.
    Episode #147
    - Instagram removes likes in Canada, Staying Relevant, Stealing Ideas