The word aesthetic is frequently used on social media and the phrase instagram aesthetic is ranking high on search engines. The word aesthetic in it self is thrown about so often nowadays that we need to actually understand its meaning.
What is instagram aesthetic, how do we define it and how do we achieve it?
By looking up the word aesthetic in it self the cambridge dictonary shows us that it can be used both as an adjective and a noun.
Both of these show us that it has to do with beauty.
The issue here is that we as humans have different views of what's considered beautiful. What I find the most beautiful work of art isn't necessarily something that's universal...
If you're a millennial, chances are that you've stumbled upon tumblr at least one or two times. Maybe some of you even used it as your personal picture diary as many of us did back in 2011. Showing artistic photographs that told a story of our inner selves. It was poetry in picture form, to show vulnerability, beauty in the simple things and to express yourself.
Tumblr is in my opinion a perfect example of what aesthetic stands for. It's self expression, showing what you find beautiful and give you that feeling.
In our generation, it's all about making someone else feel a certain way about your art or photography.
Imagine for a moment what this scene could look like.
“ You're sitting in front of a foggy window, at your desk, with an open book in front of you. Maybe it's your favourite book, a classic like the man and the sea, or a book on Scottish highlands. Beside you there's a hot cup of coffee, its warmth generate swirling steam. You draw a childish heart in the foggy window. Looking out on a garden full of trees in changing colours. In exactly this moment, you feel content. You have everything you want in this moment. ”
What does this look like to you? If you would take a picture right there by your desk. What would it look like? Would it generate that feeling or memory of that moment if you looked at it?
“ It's a warm summers night. The wind blows cool air through your hair. You're out on a walk in the sunset with your closest friend. You talk about life, maybe you're going through something right now. The gravel under your feet give a crunch beneath each step. To cheer you up somewhat, your friend goes to the ditch and picks a beautiful daisy, puts it in your hair and tell you that everything is going to be okay. She takes a picture of your hair, with the stark white daisy. Your skin is full of freckles from a long summer outside. In the background you can se a yellow and orange sky. ”
So, how exactly do you find your own aesthetic?
Well, first I would recommend you to scower the internet for aesthetics that tickles your fancy. What are you drawn to? There are tons of different aesthetics out there, and instead of inventing the wheel over and over again it's easier to find one that speaks to you, and then fine tune it to represent YOU.
Start by answering some of these prompts.
- How do I want people to feel around me?
- What is my goals?
- If I where someone people looked up to, what do I want them to take away from my art/photography?
- What's my favourite things in this world?
- What's my favourite quote?
- What inspires me?
- What makes me special?
Some may find that it's really hard to answer some of these questions, that's totally ok. Just leave them in the back of your head to think about.
By just looking at your saved images on instagram you'll have a good idea of what you like or inspires you. Choose a few of them that you can group together on a moodboard. It's totally fine if you find you have a few different groups on there, you're allowed to be inspired by many different things!
You may find that you have a group full of dark moody rooms, books and florals, one with urban photography and shapes and one that shows palm trees and Cali beaches. Think of why those speak to you, what are you drawn to, what do you feel when looking on these pictures?
Now, take some time and see if you can find connection between the different groups. See which combinations speak to you, can you find any pictures that doesn't fit in with the others? Can you replace them with something similar but in another colour or angle perhaps?
What you're doing now is essential, you're learning how to map out and organise your inspiration and creativity in an aesthetically pleasing way.
What you do with your knew skill is up to you!
You might want to use them to help you in your life when sorting out your closet, your home or furnish a new home.
Or maybe apply them to something visual online? Create a blog or an instagram account.
Whatever you do with it, HAVE FUN!