I’ve always had a thing for flowers. Growing up, Mum would encourage my sister and I to spend our weekends helping in the garden, even though it mostly ended up with us chopping worms in half to see if they’d regenerate (apparently, it’s a thing). The past three years have been spent on and off working as a florist, which is unassumingly a creative outlet to momentarily escape from this hectic and chaotic lifestyle.
I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to possibilities for my digital artefact. Somehow, I would love to combine my enjoyment for this hobby with my desire to pursue an interest in digital media. Last week I began experimenting with an Instagram page I named “Daily Daisy” (check it out here). The premise for this page is to post an image of floral inspiration every day to bring a little colour and effervescence to people’s feeds. I’ve noticed that with Instagram, especially as a woman, we are constantly exposed to images of the perfect lifestyle, body, holiday, meal, relationship, job, outfit….etc. etc. etc. Through a fake filtered lens we feel this significant sense of FOMO. The main goal for this project is to bring a source of beauty to people’s feeds, which is neutral in nature but still of interest to an audience: I mean everyone likes flowers, right?
So far, the experience has been positive. In the first week I have acquired a total of 126 likes/ comments on my posts and 18 followers. The project has not cost me a cent, but instead has allowed me to pursue an interest in photography and learn more about the workings of Instagram as a media platform (including the use of some pretty shameful hashtags). As Simpson argues, Instagram is a virtuous strategy as “users can’t get enough of its visual-only feed” and it allows marketers to “reach those outside of their networks… without big budgets” (Simpson 2017).
However, there’s only so far images of flowers can go. Even in the week that I’ve experimented I’ve noticed the average number of likes has decreased, as has the frequency of acquired followers. I had to go back to the drawing board and rework the idea into something that was much more exiting and unique, and hence more likely to gain traction. For my new project I have drawn inspiration from Facebook pages such as “Cigarettes in unusual places” and “Things full of beans that shouldn’t be full of beans”. I plan to curate a series of photos that show snapshots of flowers in places that you would not expect. The principle for my artefact has not changed, but instead has taken on a form which I hope people will find some humour in and hence will be more inclined to follow. I also hope it may encourage submission of content from the audience, creating a sense of community and spreading interest in the page.
All I need now is a witty name for the artefact and a bunch of ideas for unusual flower photographing locations. I’ll leave you with a photo of my housemate’s wonderful contribution.