A personal account of quitting Influencing (I still can’t digest what that word means).
It was a little over six months ago when I decided to stop ‘posting’. Not being a conscious decision, I had simply become mentally exhausted by the constant nagging and pressure to share content on a daily basis, sometimes even several times within a day, of outfits, events and places that I’d been paid to wear or visit. After five years I was no longer a part of a creative vehicle that I’d thoughtfully curated and grown, but a rapacious machine, and I could see how that machine was now running me. No longer was I venturing to try new ways of creativity. Over saturated in a market of identical advertisers, this churn and burn landscape of content and PR had become overly repetitious, demanding and deeply unsatisfying. Lost in the midst of algorithms, demograhics, engagement and content, I completely lost track of the point of why I started this to begin with. Passion. Something different, authentic even. I pulled the plug not because I had to, I mean, it’s just a website. A product, and there are plenty of those going around. I’m just another insignificant blip floating through cyber space, with someone scrolling past and maybe becoming engaged in what I had created. Although a sometimes vain and dare I say frequently narcissistic approach to fashion, having a large readership is a very powerful thing to have and although these days I don’t consider myself to take much all too seriously, this is something that I do consider important. What could I do that would be a contribution to the reader? What could I create that would be different, original perhaps? Is there a way I could replace the superficiality and addiction to the ego with artistic value and creativity, in a way that you, the reader, would be interested? In a way that you would feel like you were being given authentic content and curated information.
I would like my reader to feel that they posses something real as they engage in my work. I would like Joan Rose, as a brand, to emanate enough that you feel inspired and edified as an individual, and not just slammed with content seen on thirty other social media profiles. I hope I can meet you somewhere between your morning coffee, or your moments on the couch in front of the tv before bed, valuable time to us all, and give you something that has some weight and connection behind it. Joan Rose is about the reader more than anything else.
Obviously I am speaking to a demographic who is interested in fashion and style, goal setting to live your best life (not someone elses), girl crushing (hello, Olivia Culpo), trend setting and all that comes with the ideals of having a sincere love for personal style. I am an expert, and within years of experience I have realised what has developed and what is now missing.
So here it is, a labour of love, but not so strenuously pushed out that I forced the creative process. I gave myself time to allow the work to develop naturally, as all artists know, you gain a skill set, you work hard, you set up the canvas, you learn the steps. But in the end, the magic comes to you. Endless hours I have spent on set shooting film and photography, and nothing comes quite close to when someone calls, “we’ve got the shot”. Nothing is more electrifying than that pinnacle moment in the creative process, but that is just the creative nerd in me speaking.
No longer will I create ‘real time’ content in social media advertising, but instead researched and planned fashion stories working with other wonderful creatives and brands. I will not be posting for likes, or comments, or for more followers. I have enough. I am happy with what I have achieved, now I want to contribute to this industry and possibly even inspire other leaders in our work to play with new ideas and constructs of advertising and content creation. I suppose this comes down to a personal shift in my life also, no longer seeking ‘perfection’ in my life, I seemingly prefer to go with the flow these days and be unperturbed by the happenings and dramas in the world. I have stopped taking things personally. People are who they are, and I am certainly no hero in a tight dress. I’m tired of being offended, or angry, or prejudicial. I’m just happy being myself and grateful going about my day, and I guess that no longer leaves room for doubting and overthinking anymore. I guess I’ve changed into the person I always wanted to be, enjoying the free fall and self confidence over hesitation, over sensitivity or pride. I’m malleable, open. Which is something I never thought I’d say. I’m totally fine with the possibility of failure or being disliked. I have found a sense of completeness in being uncertain or possibly incorrect.
I have no agenda to have better work than others, frankly this is still a work in progress, but I would like to see the whole scope of influencing shift. As no one will remember my name, I’m not invested in having my name in lights, that’s why I no longer wanted this to be about my life. I’ve had my turn at that, and privacy is much more rewarding. Influencing can really control your life if you focus on it too much. I’d much prefer to see the industry and reader benefit over the long term anyway, and I want to contribute to that. What can I say, I’m a giver.
I hope that you enjoy Joan Rose as much as I enjoy creating it, thank you for your patience and consideration as I continue to grow and prosper this brand for you.