A Collage is Always a WIP (and so are YOU!)

Collage Booklet – Page 1

Moody lilac collage book July 2023 page 1
A collage can never be wrong because it never needs to end.

It’s a busy time for me again. I’ve opened my shop, I’m preparing to do school applications, and there are even some writing jobs and video editing contests I might be brave enough to try.

2 years ago that pressure would have wrecked me, but after graduating I feel so much more disciplined that I organically transitioned into an entrepreneurial role. All the digital landscaping and boutique social media development keeps me from becoming complacent, especially when I just want to play Dreamlight Valley and read comics all day.

Moody lilac dreamlight valley character
I can’t stop until these thorns are all gone!

I’m in the early stages of starting my small business, getting into collage, and making tons of content out of every step of the process. Whatever fits into the aesthetic anyway. I’m excited to start this new venture by modeling my own spaces after the same content I enjoy.

Collegiate… Collage-iate?

Collaging has been my thing recently. I was inspired by some creative people in the cozy twee nook of my TikTok. It’s everything I need — contained chaos, adaptation, lyrics, and flexibility.

Collage with Me

It is also a medium that permits mistakes and stopping for the night without completion. This is good practice for people like me who aggressively keep working until something is done or “good enough” to share. If you have trouble starting because of ADHD or anxiety, you can’t go wrong with a collage because it starts in fragments and becomes whole through an interpretation of orderliness.

Being able to use any and all materials offers an unrivaled level of creative control. It’s the perfect way to start using those scraps of paper you’ve been saving because you care about the environment and simply cannot just toss or even recycle them.

Sweet Sweet Progress

Establishing and maintaining an entertaining online presence is so much work, though many users consume content so rapidly they rarely stop to think about the ~production~ side of things. My media production fetish blesses me with a curiosity for content creation (and curses me with reverse engineering reality television so much that no one wants to watch anything with me anymore.)

Niche YouTube videos like anime-themed subliminal messages that offer me moon-kissed skin and an obsession with studying are not just for my journey of self-improvement. I have to experience the entire content in its environment as well.

What color palette was used for the video’s theme? What font family was used? What graphics are in the video and are they static or dynamic? What is the title of this digital enchantment and how does it relate to the benefit it claims to provide me? Is this going to be silent, nature sounds, or music that has been modified to agree with licensing policies?

I am intrigued by the user’s avatars, whether they have created playlists, and if their own digital landscaping expands beyond this respective platform. What other socials are you on? Do you also make your own graphics and art? Did you edit the music yourself? There is so much to learn from just one of your favorite subscriptions. Not to mention the comparisons you can make between macro performing accounts and those with those with fewer subscribers.

Another cheeky thing you can do is compare the latest content to the earliest content. Do you do that with your own content? After all those years of writing “progress, not perfection” on my blog, it is very satisfying to see that progress was made indeed.

Moody lilac collage workspace
Progress, you say?

Of course I am looking forward to looking back 😏 at that sweet sweet progression, but I’m genuinely proud at how the curating, content uploads, and my graphics have been consistently growing into my original vision for Lilac Variety back in 2019. Can’t believe I even had the shop name in the chamber this whole time, too.

I see it growing like a life — a vision of the whole assembled with parts and time. It is so much like the zine I made or the collage books I am making now. And I have become so much more comfortable not feeling like a failure just because I haven’t finished something in one sitting.

It’s not always easy to win that internal argument, but I see improvement in myself, too. ✨

Remember how destitute I felt 3 years ago? Did you think I would have gotten my Master’s degree and opened a shop by then? I DID NOT! So keep going, everyone. Find your thing. If I can, you can.

Having tangible evidence of progress is excellent for combatting perfectionism-related anxiety and feeling overwhelmed by incomplete tasks. I was told to take before and after pics of my tasks (like organizing my apartment) in order to prove to myself that yes progress was made, so don’t give up when you see that there is more to do when you wake up the next morning.

Looking beyond the start/finish binary is mentally refreshing, but it really puts into perspective that mechanisms and machinists are active and necessary elements of the content we love to consume.

Did anyone else start thinking of the current SAG-AFTRA strikes just now?

But It IS My Job

It’s funny that people all have favorite accounts to follow on social media, but if you explain the process of digital footprint upkeep people say, “it’s like a job!” Interestingly people who have the standard 9-5s tend to compare that routine to non-traditional work and it always feels a little sassy to me. I find 9-5 M-F schedules archaic and (generally) exploitative because I’ve literally never had one of these mythical full time gigs.

If I work part-time anywhere consistently and earn money it’s a job. If I am in school full-time and have a part-time job, I have a part-time job while getting a degree. If I’m in school full time and don’t have any job, I’m unemployed.

If I am a lifestyle blogger with a tiny online shop, I’m also unemployed to mostly everyone regardless of how many hours I do blog and shop-related things in a day. How much money do you need to earn for people to consider you employed? It’s weird that grad & doctorate students are doing “work” and I know for a fact that influencers are working around the clock especially when they don’t have a team but it’s not considered a job to many.

Personally, I’ve been ~self-employed~ for many years as a lifestyle blogger. I have had it listed on my resume as my current occupation since 2019.

Now that I’ve actually integrated an online shop, the work is constant and the profits are still virtually nonexistent but I’ve heard “it’s like a job” so many times that I’m certain I will realistically probably never have a “job” after all because I don’t think I can handle such formality. Such consistency. So routine. So rush hour trains. So little time for creative projects which are then relegated to hobbies bc they’re not work. 😭

Money for all this work-adjacent labor would be nice though soooo… head on down to Lilac Variety for some cute stickers and make your own collage today!

Lilac variety sticker booklets
$2 Sticker Booklets at lilacvariety.com