You may remember a post I published a few weeks back, titled ‘Embellish Your Instagram With These (FREE) Awesome Apps’. In this post I mentioned an inspiration of mine, Paula Pocket, who is the creative manager behind this stunning Instagram account. I sent her a message to let her know how much I admired her hard work, and ask if she minded being featured in my post.
She’s a real doll and we hit it off straight away. Before long I was inspired to arrange an interview, somewhat similar to the one that Bella Sovmiz recently (and ever-so-kindly) gave me, but this time focused on digital design, body confidence and ‘cohesive creativity’.
Paula, who resides in Canary Islands, Spain, generously agreed to take some take out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions and today I’m delighted to be sharing them with you. So, without further adieu, here’s the transcript of our chat:
Hey Paula! You know I’m a HUGE fan of embellished Instagram accounts – yours in particular… So can I guess the first question must be: how did it all start, and why?
Hi! Thanks so much, it’s an honor to participate in this incredible blog. Ponypocket started two years ago. I had been doing graphic design work for other people for several years until I started to feel unmotivated and stuck. I felt the need to stop and do something for myself and that was when a friend encouraged me to use instagram to share just what I want.
I understand that. Sometimes you have to embrace your own ideas before you can deliver to someone else’s brief! So tell us more about being creative brand manager. Does it link in with your ability to develop unique themes and stickers?
The truth is that I define myself as Creative Brand Manager because I feel it describes what I do best, professionally and personally. The artistic world has always fascinated me. I love fashion and design. Studying advertising has allowed me combine these aspects and confirm that this is my skill.
As Creative Brand Manager, I help brands and participate in projects, developing the strategic/creative vision. Creative vision is my power – I have the ability to make great things with few things, and to make something beautiful from what initially looks boring. So yes, it’s totally linked.
I consider Instagram my personal experimentation platform and I like to try different themes. I believe that each of us has a unique ability (if you’ve seen “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, you’ll remember that everyone has a “cute mark”, symbolising a special ability) and therefore knowing yourself, trying different things and finding out what your special ability is, is an incredible process! And when you discover it, everything is more magical! So I encourage everyone to embrace their passion to discover their ability.
My Little Pony! Oh wow… yes I do remember now, and what a sweet way to look at personal and professional growth! Can you suggest any software/apps you use to create such a cohesive yet original theme?
I only use two tools. Photoshop, to brighten the colors, and my favourite app, VSCO Cam. I think that it’s a perfect app to edit photos in a simple but aesthetic way. Just now I’m totally addicted to the A5 VSCO filter (one of the free filters)! I also apply the “Ludwig” Instagram filter often, as it can enhance the ‘bright white’ style that I love so much.
There are many accounts that attract attention because of their attractive and cohesive themes and I really think that a cohesive Instagram is the result of a strategic Instagram account. If we think about Instagram as a set of images (a great feed), rather than thinking in terms of individual images, we can achieve a more harmonious and attractive feed.
Perhaps other people have other strategies, but in my case, I save my photos in a folder with many “photo-resources” and I will organise all of the photos in monthly folders, considering the colors to get a more consistent feed. Normally I have already prepared the pictures almost half a month ahead of time!
So how long does it take you to edit your pictures?
The truth is, after all this time, I have had to learn how to be more organised. Now I take my photos throughout the week (trying to get 6-8 photos per week), so that way I can dedicate just one day to edit all those photos. In my case, Sunday is the day I set aside to edit colors, add stickers and organise the photos according to the feed cohesion and theme.
You seem to take a very active/strategic approach. Do you ever miss the more natural, organic approach?
I use Instagram in a strategic way but I love the idea of the ‘Instagram Stories’ to show our daily lives in a more natural and spontaneous way because this is something that hooks a lot. We’re all a bit nosy – we love to know what others are doing, and where they are. Everything depends on the use of your account and what you want to achieve.
If you want to use Instagram in a personal way, you can upload and edit photos naturally, as and when you take them. But if you want to give a professional style, the best way to do so is to plan your weeks/months ahead of time. For example, you can organise to take special photos on important dates (Christmas, birthday, valentine, fashion week…).
Also, if you want to organise a good feed, with harmonious colors and a strong theme, try to assemble photos before you upload them, considering your post-frequency, to make sure they all look great together.
I’ve loved your Instagram Stories so far, but have been pretty inactive on mine. Too busy with snapchat, haha! Anyway, tell me this: if you could start your Instagram account over, would you do anything differently?
That’s a good question! If I could start it over, I think that my topic/focus would be the same (fashion, design, and lifestyle) because they are the things that I really like. I think of Instagram as the perfect platform for this, as you can discover, experiment and share who you are and what your vision of world is.
I’ve noticed your themes have changed over time, as have the stickers and other digital embellishments you use. Does this reflect anything, like your lifestyle or mood at the time?
Oh, I’m glad you’ve noticed it. In my case, it is a gradual change of style. It’s like my personal evolution. I believe that my own life and the situations I experience influences me. When I started the account I was more girly, then I decided to play more with all my designs, clothes… even dyed my hair pink!
Now, I’m in a space where I still want to play but with a more natural look. And I’m obsessed with white color D:! Perhaps the fact that it is my last year of college makes me feel a little more serious (I really need to deal with this last year seriously, hehe). Personally, I think people should give themselves the opportunity to experiment. Life is too short to always do things in same in the same way, isn’t it?
I totally agree. How about a favourite Instagram account – do you have one?
OMG! I have many favorite accounts, but I think that my utmost favourite is always @rubyjune I love her photographic style, the colors and occurrences! Her aesthetic is incredible – it’s like a magical feed!
Wowza. It really is! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. So are you motivated by other Instagram accounts or do you find inspiration elsewhere?
Everything inspires me! Circumstances, movies, fashion, magazines, comics, art (especially surrealist art), the street… I almost always walk the streets taking photos of locations that inspire me for other planned photos. I think that is so important to have an open mind and be aware to the details because everything has beauty: textures, colors, sounds… including the most watched and boring corners of our cities. Who knows, maybe there is a perfect wall in our street to take fashion shoots.
We’ve seen that you’re not afraid to bare a little skin. How do you keep in such INCREDIBLE shape?
Oh, thank you! In my case I think that is because of my body constitution. Since childhood I’ve been a petite girl (1,52m / 5’0″). No matter how hard I try, I can’t have curves. I know this sounds typical to say… but I eat and I don’t put on fat. This may seem like a good thing to some people, but you don’t know how much I admire bodies with curves!!
I generally eat pretty well – I love healthy food and yes, my biggest temptation is chocolate!! But as I have a skin problem (rosacea) I try not to abuse of fast food, sweets, pastries and drinks. (Like Barbie, my favourite drink is cold water without gas).
What’s your stance on body confidence, then?
The truth is that I am also insecure sometimes, like many people. That’s normal, what matters is how we face such insecurities and adopt self-belief, I think. Over time, I’ve discovered that the most important thing is to know oneself.
Be patient in discovering who you are.
To “know yourself” you must first to recognise that no one is free from defects, not even ourselves. It is upon this realisation that we begin to recognise our strengths and uncover our flaws. We must learn to highlight what makes us our best version and, above all, to understand what makes us more comfortable with our authentic selves.
We must love ourselves, accept our bodies and learn to highlight our beauty. I believe that all body types are beautiful. Many people are jealous and envious and sometimes we are cruel to ourselves and to others. So, I think if I were to give only one piece of advice, it would be that we should be more like flowers:
What a touching quote – a great one to remember. Back to Instagram quickly before we finish up, do you have a specific vision of how you want your Instagram to look in the future?
Sincerely, I prefer to live the moment. I like to let ‘me’ flow, I think that’s what evokes emotion.
And finally, is there anywhere else we can follow you – because we cannot get enough of your style?!!
OMG! You won’t believe it… but I just have my Instagram account. Yes, I have a Facebook profile like much people but I only use it in a personal way, to be in touch with family. And even so I’m not very active on Facebook – I think I only log-in once a week (or less) D: But I can confess a secret: I have been thinking of starting up a blog on “how I edit my photos” for almost a year. I want to provide different tips on embellishing photos, and showcasse my vision of fashion and lifestyle. Perhaps after my last university year I’ll start one, or before? I do not know!! Should I?
YES! Just, yes! I would love to see you start up a blog and share all your top tips with us. You really are talented and it would be a joy to gain better insight to your process. Please do keep us updated and thank you again, so much, for your answers in today’s interview.
If you’d like to put a question to Paula, or encourage her to begin that blog, use the comments section below. Likewise, if you enjoyed this post feel free to let us know 🙂
Lots of love,