In your experience, what are some of the “inadequate images” that you encounter in your media consumption?
I think some inadequate images that I encounter are memes that I see constantly on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I see the same memes used over and over again for the same reaction. It gets repetitive and boring; does everyone really respond in the exact same way every time something happens?
Another example would be watching people's Snapchat stories that show every day things, like eating food or being at a club or watching tv. We get it, you do stuff that I do too. So why am I watching this again? Even if someone's Snapchat story shows them traveling or doing something crazy like skydiving, I'm still looking at that experience through their lens and not my own. They have control over what they want to show me. I can't be there and create the image for myself.
What do you think feeds the lack of new images in our culture?
I think complacency feeds it. Maybe society feels like satisfied with what they are told to see and don't care enough to look beyond it. Or maybe peer pressure feeds it as well. We don't want to be different or out-of-the-loop so we copy and recycle images from other people. We choose the "I'll have what he's having" option instead of the "I'm going to try something new" option.
Are there images and/or stories you yearn to tell, or perhaps stereotypes and tropes you hope to avoid?
I always want to tell the story of Black people in spaces that aren't stereotypically "Black". Like why can't a group of Black girls form a rock band or why can't a Black boy be a zoologist instead of an athlete. It seems like telling stories about Black people always comes with a set of "rules" and stereotypes that have to be followed in order for the story to be received well.
What do you think it takes to cultivate an artistic process and practice that can create new imagery?
I think it starts from within with self-confidence. I feel like people who are sure of themselves and their vision are more likely to seek out those new images.