In this interview, Mirabelle Eze, an aspiring Creative Director and Blogger, tells us about how she stays authentic and creative on social media while dealing with Influencer Syndrome.
What is your earliest memory of your interest in blogging?
I cannot pinpoint which blogger inspired me when I started my blog in 2015. But in university, I can remember an assignment I had in a course where I had to create my own personal brand and showcase it on a website. I started my blog after that, around April, when the sun started to come out. That’s when all the creativity and inspiration really comes out for me. To be honest, I knew I wanted to start a blog and share my creativity so I just started it.
How about your earliest memory with fashion?
My fashion inspiration came from when I was young. While in Nigeria, my older sister was really into fashion and wanted to start her own line at the time. She was my first fashion blogger inspiration because she was always into styling and photoshoots. She would style me and take a picture of me in the clothes. That’s how it started, a few years back all the way in Lagos, Nigeria.
When did you realize that you wanted to share your interest and creativity with the world?
I was at a point in my life where I was so unsettled inside and I knew I had to express something. That’s really what it was, because I had come out of a rocky relationship and nothing was feeling right. I just had to express it. And that’s what pixelated passion was for me. And when I created the platform, I knew there was so much I could do. I could choose between photography, interior design, illustration, content creation, and writing. I started posting everything and the whole point was to narrow it down later on and I landed on where I am now. Everything came together seamlessly.
On Aspiring to be a Creative Director…
I had to figure out who I wanted to be creatively. Everyone has creativity but there are different types of it. My background education allowed me to explore different avenues of creativity. Even after I graduated I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. It can get confusing, so I tried to focus on one area of creativity. I worked at an ad agency for social media and I loved it, but I wanted to do something more creative. That’s why I went back to school. And I know the highest level in a creative agency is being a creative director and that’s my goal.
How do you integrate your creativity into your work on Instagram, your blog, and other social media?
I’m going to start with Instagram: first of all the fact that my blog is for creatives is the number 1 factor. I feel like I need to represent that. Since I am catering to creatives, my feed has to look good and has to attract them. There are certain guidelines that I set while I was creating my brand. Staying consistent with what I was posting is one of them. In terms of my visual identity, I know what goes well with my feed so I always have that in the back of my mind because it always works out together to make my feed look nice. That’s Instagram aesthetics for you!
For blogging, I have to make sure the content that I post is on point with no typos because I’m also a copywriter. I also have to make sure that what I put out is valuable and not just fluff. I always make sure I am adding value to my readers and audience.
Pixelated passion is your brand but how is that different from you, Mirabelle?
I know, it’s weird. I honestly don’t have the answer to that question but I know how my brand is similar to me though, I can tell you that. My brand is a creative platform and I’m a creative. It’s similar to me because I always have to strive for excellence. Everything else I post on pixelated passion is me.
On being Authentic on Social Media…
I have to be honest though, last year when I went back home I felt like I wasn’t really putting my best out there. I guess I wasn’t really sharing what was going on in my life. Because I was separating my real life from my brand. When I went back home and met with my friends, they expected my life to be like how it was online because they hadn’t seen me in ten years. I wasn’t really representing myself, so that’s something I’m thinking about implementing more in 2019. It’s making sure that even though Pix-elated Passion is my brand, I still want it to feel human and carry some of my experience with me. So I’ve been trying to be more transparent. Like I failed my G2 test, and I put it out there, I wouldn’t have done that last year. And I got so much love and support from sharing that and people giving me tips and suggestions. That gave me the courage to keep being transparent. We are attracted to authenticity, and that’s what one of my blogposts is about, it’s called “Influencer Syndrome.” It is common because sometimes we don’t want to share what we created because we are too shy to get feedback.
… it’s called “Influencer Syndrome.” It is common because sometimes we don’t want to share what we created because we are too shy to get feedback.
Which do you relate with more: Fashion Blogger, Creative or Influencer and why?
The straight up answer is creative. I knew I was a creative at first and I got into fashion blogging when I started looking for something to express my creativity. I am a creative first and a fashion blogger second, and then an influencer.
How do you feel about the word “Influencer” in general?
In general, I know a lot of people hate it. I go to an advertising school and if you ever mention influencer marketing as a solution or idea to a campaign, the instructors don’t like it. “ It’s not original, everyone’s doing it,” is what they’ll tell you. It’s also a weird feeling for me too, it’s something I struggle with. I am creative but I always do these influencer things. Like as an influencer, you actually have influence. But, there’s a stigma attached to it and it’s so annoying to deal with. Like this year I’m going to make money, I don’t care. It’s not easy to do everything. You are creating a feed and creating an experience. As a blogger or influencer you are the creative director, stylist, model, photographer, editor, copywriter, graphic designer and so on. There’s just so much energy that goes into it. As an influencer you need to focus and recognize your impact.
What would you say and what would your reaction be, if someone from Instagram saw you in-person?
It happened to me once but it was weird. A girl walked up to me when I was at church. I was greeting people as they walked in because I was a part of the welcome team and she looked at me like she had seen me before. She came up to me and said, “Hi, I saw you in a photo”. Shockingly, I was like “oh hi,” because it was so awkward and I didn’t expect it. I was happy and I thought to myself, “that was actually so cool”. I think getting used to it is hard, especially with the stigma around being an influencer. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to show people my Instagram page!
How would you define your style right now, and how has it changed?
No matter what direction my style has gone, I feel like it always has to look chic, or I don’t feel like myself. It can be variations of chic, it can be afro chic, workplace chic, or sporty chic. I don’t really wear sporty stuff, but if I did, it would have a chic edge to it.
What is your favourite quote?
When I look at my computer, there is a screensaver that says everyday is a fresh start. Sometimes I forget that, but every time I open my computer, it’s a reminder. And I get to catch my breath. And sometimes I overthink, and I look at it and remember you can start fresh today, right now.
On everyday being a fresh start for creatives…
That’s something that I’ve had to learn especially going to the ad school. The amount of rejections I have gotten is surprising! As you’re saying your idea, your instructor cuts you off and says, “no, that’s not gonna work”. My tolerance for rejection is higher now. I once had a disagreement with a client and when I got home I laid in bed and thought about it all day. I was upset but I had to keep going. I’ve taken that mentality and put it into my work. Especially on instagram when people focus on numbers, but really it’s all about being consistent. So yes everyday is a fresh start and it relates to most things. Creatives are sensitive and everything we create is our baby and that’s part of being an artist and expressing yourself. Your skin needs to be tough.