So, while you’re here and I have your attention, I wanted to talk about all things aesthetic, style, beauty and yes *vibes* (side note - I love that word so much, I don’t even care how overused it is). Recently you may have seen that I was generously awarded the “Aesthetic as Fluff” award from the lovely Britt Johnson. Things like online style is something that Britt and I have talked about quite a lot over the years. To some, online “vibes” may not be a priority, they just enjoy posting photos and videos and I’m here to say that is 100% cool. This is not a place of judgement; this is a place to uplift and to celebrate individuality.
Something that I love so much about style, in any shape or form is that it is so incredibly vast and individualistic. Personally, I love and appreciate all different genres of style and taste. Whether it's dark + gloomy – monotone scheme, airy + bubbly – pastel tones, simple + clean - natural tones, bright + cutesy – every colour in the rainbow, Chic + modern – Neutral tones and/or pops of colour, Retro + vibey – *Jess Rona* and the list can go on and I love it ALL.
If you’re reading this and you’re not sure what style you fall under, or if you fit into one at all that is OKAY. To me, having style is not about fitting into one box or category at all. There are no rules here. The word aesthetic means ‘concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty’. Beauty is interpreted and appreciated differently by us all.
When it comes to curating your own unique and individual style for an online platform it all starts with you. Who you are, what lights you up inside and what brings you joy. Make lists! Make Pinterest mood boards! Save photos in a folder somewhere on your phone! Just start with things you see (not grooming related) and immediately feel lit up by, or moved by, or gives you this tickle in your tummy of wanting to create something yourself that contains that level of beauty. This exercise is not necessarily of what is actually in the photo itself, but how the photo feels and makes you feel. This is just a very simple way to let yourself experiment with that gut style instinct.Now take a step back and look at the photos you’ve saved. Are you noticing an overall theme? But take your time because the theme may not be blaringly obvious. Dig a little deeper into those photos you chose and ask yourself what it is about them that drew you to it. Think of some of the elements of photo composition; Patterns, textures, symmetry, asymmetry, lines, curves, contrast, colour, viewpoint, negative space, filled space, foreground, background, shapes.
The things we find beautiful / what we are attracted to visually in style and art says so much about ourselves. And just in case you’ve forgotten, who you are as an individual is so valuable, important and crucial. Personal aesthetics goes so much deeper than the surface and I love watching people come into their own unique outward expression of beauty.
Now that you’ve done this inward work, let's talk practical steps, that outward expression.
As dog groomers, it may feel challenging to practically apply a “vibe” or a style into your photos or videos and I get that. Where to even start?! Let's start with your space. Does it feel like you? Does it inspire you to create beautiful things out of dog hair? Our surroundings play a big role in our mood and our energy for the day.
Now before you grab your keys and face mask to run to the nearest home goods and buy everything that sparks joy for your salon, hear me out. Sometimes less is more, and sometimes more is more! It really depends on the person. I like to play around with my space and have tried different things in the past, like giant floral tapestries. As Humans we are constantly changing and evolving. Styles and pieces that may have spoken to us before may say different things to us now and it's time to move on. And that’s okay. That’s the beauty of style. You’re never stuck to one and as we change, so do they.
Lately in my salon I’ve been on the minimal vibe. My background is a white wall (I also have a dark wall for when I want more of a moody vibe). Off to the side I have a gorgeous teak mid-century modern floating side board, which holds my tools and a glass comb holder on top with gold edges that spins. All of those things together (plus a pop of colour of whatever Pawmat I am feeling like that day) is what makes me feel happy and gets me in the right headspace to create and it feels like me.Now for those on a tight budget, or working in a corporate setting that don’t have much control over their space, don’t worry! There are still other ways to incorporate your vibes (and to me this is the most important part) like Editing! Play with your edits. Colours, tones, lighting all that good stuff. Go get an app like Lightroom. They have some amazing free presets in the discover section and it’s a great place to start experimenting with your edits.
Most importantly just have fun with it and remember to do what feels like you. Don’t try and be someone else on this journey. You are more than enough. Authenticity and being true to yourself is more important than trying to fit into a social media mold of what you should and shouldn’t do. Just be you!
Looking for inspo? Follow Bryanna on Instagram @groomingbybryanna