I analysed my own creative practice and took a dive into the
topic of creativity and social media

Instagram has allowed me to establish myself as a creative practitioner, build a following and engage with like minded creatives (just to name a few). As an Interactive and Visual Designer, I am fascinated with how social media has aided my creativity.

Whilst I celebrate this platforms potential, I am not naive to an emerging set of contemporary issues that come with this “sharing economy, (Jeremy Rifkin, 2018).” Topics such as collaboration and copyright are discussed in a book described as a visual commentary.

By initiating conversations about this complex online world, my hope is that creatives go forth sharing and use Instagram as a powerful creative device.


​​Through the opportunity for anyone to create music, videos, blogs, and share at zero marginal costs, the face of entertainment, communication, consumerism and political movements are radically altered (Rifkin, 2018).  Jeremy Rifkin (2018), economist and social theorist, describes today’s technological era as the catalyst of transition into a Third Industrial Revolution.

Rifkin (2018) describes this as a “radical new sharing economy,” one which is “open, collaborative and transparent.” Echoing the writing of behavioural economist, Adam Smith, Rifkin (2018) expresses that the world benefits from individuals acting upon their own self-interest. With the rise of online communities, open source websites, royalty free material and easy creation tools, the material needed for the “building blocks of creativity’ – to copy, transform and combine existing material” are now more accessible than ever before (Ferguson, 2012).

Instagram has brought about significant agency for its users allowing them to become co-creators of content they consume and interact with. Users can share their creative works online and find others doing the same relatively easily.

Listen to Rifkin's discussion, "The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy," on VICE here


Mark Tribe highlights Wired magazine’s expression about a globally homogenised network as ‘a deadly cocktail of naïve optimism,’ ‘techno-utopianism,’ with new feats in ‘libertarian politics’ (Manovich, 2002, pg. 1). The argument is posed that a lack of serious consideration of an anticipated vision of the future, immersed in technological innovations, prior to software development, has lead innovation thus far.

Tapscott’s (1998) view in “Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation,” is one that writes, partly, in favour of the ‘N-Genners’ participation on the internet. A generation that has grown up with technology and has not had to struggle to adapt, is a generation which sees it as a “playful prosthetic device- an extension of oneself,” (1998, pg. 40). The key term in this statement is the word ‘playful.’ Tapscott describes new media as one that is controlled by its users and not by ‘adults.’

Unlike prominent technologies of a former generation, such as radio and TV, where children had no agency over the content watched and listened to. Rather, it is “malleable, and distributed in control,” (Tapscott, 1998, pg. 26). Its interactivity leads its users to seek out their own content, and in doing so, establish online communities. Within these online communities, users are found to interreact, teach and learn from one another, operating in non-hierarchical and knowledge distributed landscapes (Tapscott, 1998). This directly links to Jeremey Rifkens discussion about the sharing economy being a revolutionary disruption in the economy, brought on by interactive media. Collaboration is simply one theme which highlights an interactive platform as having the capacity for creatives to ignore hierarchical ways of working and leverage opportunity and creative voice. 

Initially, also for the dominance of technology in the everyday life, Sherry Turkle’s (2011) latest book, “Alone Together,” provides a critique. Turkle argues, whilst technology does aid in connecting us to others, she questions the value these online connections hold. Furthermore, she suggests that always being attached to a device, in fact hinders creativity itself, as one finds it difficult to sit and be still enough to listen to original thought (2011). “People are lonely,” Turkle (2011, pg. 23) writes, “The network is seductive.” Turkle’s writing highlights the negative viewpoint to the aforementioned theme of collaboration, previously discussed as a positive aspect brought about by interactive media. Both Turkle and Manovich hold strong arguments. This project is not in favour or against social media but illustrates the dichotomy.

I became fascinated with the discussions these theorists were putting forward, some 23 years ago, the year I was born. I couldn’t help feeling that I was playing out their hypothesised reality with my creative uploading behaviour. As a creative, I couldn’t just store the information and regurgitate it in my exegesis. The findings had to be interrogated and visually communicated.


I reached out to creative friends who I admired and who also shared their work on social media. We caught up and discussed common positive and negative nuances with sharing our work on social media. I chose one theme that we resonated with the most and developed a whimsical narrative that commented on the theme in a non direct way. The creatives were the main characters within the visual narrative.

This content was then curated into a book. The front section showcased these visual narratives alongside their initial interviews with the creatives. The second part of the 100 page book was made up of my own commentary on my social media observations under a series of overarching topics. This project was showcased at the 2019 graduate showcase. The project was selected to be Showcased in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.

It also won the Romeo Digital award, selected based on the following criteria:
- A digital focus
- Creative and innovative thinking 
- Compelling user experience 
- A strong visual execution 
- Unique and clear purpose 
- Well presented