Michele & Peach: Most Creative Mirror Magnates of Instagram
Mirror mirror on the wall who's the person behind it all?
Instagram is a platform we take somewhat as the extension of our personality - showing the food we like, people we admire, places we go to and most importantly SELFIES. And what if you start telling your story without directly showing all of this?
You might have seen Michele's photos all over the social media starring the cutest ginger cat and framing everything in mirrors. Here's our conversation for ya.
Tell us a little bit about your background: where are you from, what do you do on a daily basis?
I'm from San Jose, CA, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born and raised here, lived in San Diego for college, and moved back up after graduation. At this point in my life I'm self employed; I'm a nanny and I work on my photography business in my free time!
Are there any fashion/beauty rules or guidelines you find yourself avoiding to portray in your work?
That's a good question. I think the biggest one is photoshop. Photoshop is so common in the fashion and beauty industry. It's basically just assumed that almost any photo you see has been edited somehow and that has become totally acceptable. I don't dislike images edited with photoshop, but I avoid it in my own work for better or worse.
Oh, and I also avoid using the color red which is widely seen as an essential color in the fashion and beauty world. There's just something about red that always makes me feel kind of nervous and uncomfortable in my own photos.
How you started and decided to keep creating mirror collages?
I've noticed how photographers and cinematographers use mirrors in their work ever since I was a kid and have always been interested in manipulating shots so that there's no hint of a camera. When I started trying to do this myself I had a pretty positive reaction from those around me and I felt encouraged to keep doing it. I liked the way my photos would turn out a lot of the time and that made me feel excited about it. It's been a huge confidence booster for me.
Imagine a world without social media, how would you present your ideas for other people?
I get asked this question a lot. It would be really difficult for me to share my work without the presence of social media. I don't think I would be doing what I am today at all without it. Social media is part of my medium. It's almost impossible for me to imagine what would have happened with my creative endeavors if it didn't exist.
How would you describe your personal style?
Really comfy and casual. I honestly can't stand wearing clothes that are uncomfortable, and I tend to not wear a lot of makeup on most days, but I do love designer clothes. I like Mary Kate Olsen's style, its high fashion but still looks effortless and even a little frumpy at times. I kind of like that "I can't be bothered to try too hard" sort of look. Like Shia Labeouf's style. Where people are like, that outfit is really not cool in theory but it looks awesome and I want to wear it.
Your 3 most inspiring creative artists to you and why?
It's difficult to choose just three because I feel like I'm inspired by different people all the time, but for sure #1 is always Prince. He's been a huge inspiration to me for years. His music and his attitude make me feel so confident. It's hard to explain. I get so energized by him. He makes me unafraid to be myself.
#2 would probably be Stanley Kubrick because his films are so unique to him. He was so amazingly creative and so sure of his vision. He put his stamp on everything he did. You can watch a film and know it's his because every detail reflects who he was as a creative and as a director. I want to be like that.
For #3 I'd have to say Yayoi Kusama because, similar to Kubrick and Prince, she can't help but be anyone but herself. That is clear in her work. Her art keeps her healthy, it keeps her going. I admire that.
Person dead or alive you would like to collab with and why?
Oh wow, I have no idea. I think I'd be too intimidated to collaborate with an artist I admire because I feel like I'm not worthy yet. At this point I just want to collaborate with artists who are more so my peers to see what we can do and what we can come up with.
A ginger cat that stars in your art. Tell us about it and why it started to appear in it in a first place?
That's my cat Peach. He's essentially my muse. He's beautiful, he's friendly and he's patient. I often feel the most creative at home, and since that's where he always is the two often go hand in hand (paw). I'm really lucky to have such a tolerant and adorable pet.
Tell us about your work process, how do you choose props and topics to create your photos?
I often just look for things that stand out to me in terms of color and shape. I like to take pictures of things that change quickly, like flowers and my immediate environment. I look for colors that soothe me and make me feel comfortable. I deal with anxiety often and I can really feel when a color or object has a positive effect on my mood.
What role does art play in your life?
It plays a lot of roles. I engage with many types of art all day every day. It gives me hope and it keeps life interesting. Life would be so bland without creativity. I don't even like to imagine a world without art, it's too depressing.
Find Michel's & Peach art at @michel_e_b