This week I interviewed Hattie Bottom, founder of thinkinghatt.wordpress.com. She is also the Style Editor of the Epigram as well as the Features Editor of Helicon Magazine.
What was your main inspiration for your blog and when did you start?
I started it in January of first year because I was quite shy during freshers and didn’t really join many societies. I’m vaguely sporty, but not competitively, so I didn’t join any team sports. I tried sailing for a bit, but didn’t want to give up my weekends to racing. Since I had a lot time on my hands, I thought about what I could do to achieve something. As a way to keeping myself motivated, I started up a blog, just to get myself going. In essence, it’s kind of a way to remind myself to keep doing new things.
Could you tell me a bit more about your blog?
The three themes are philosophy, fashion and art; three of my main interests. If I’ve learned something really cool in a lecture, I’ll try and expand on it in my blog. For example, a lecture I had on colour really interested me, so I composed some questions on it and asked an artist and a student artist on their opinions of it. I try to take it slightly out of the philosophy world to make it more accessible to everyday readers. Sometimes in philosophy, an idea is really interesting, but it’s quite hard to understand because of the jargon. Overall, it’s a good way for me to practice explaining concepts and making it relevant to today.
What kind of art and artists are you interested in?
I like going around to any exhibitions in Bristol to try and keep up to date with what’s happening. In particular, I really love artists that use colour in different ways. I got in contact with Margrethe Odgaard from Copenhagen the other day, an artist that made her own colour index on hundreds of ice lolly sticks. She said she didn’t want to use normal, standard cards that designers use because they don’t play to your senses. She wanted to see how we react bodily to colours; how we can experience colours in a different way.
(Photo credit: Hattie Bottom)
Do you make any art?
I’m really interested in the hands on approach to art. I don’t paint or draw really, but I do lots of crafts. I really liked the flower tattoos I saw on ‘oh comely’, so I researched the make up artist that came up with the idea and how to execute it and I did a variation for myself.
Could you tell me a bit more about how you did the flower tattoos?
Yes, it’s really easy! The only thing that takes a bit of time is pressing the flowers. You can do it traditionally, where you put the flowers between thick paper in a heavy book and leave them for about a week. Alternatively, you can microwave them for a few seconds, then place them in a book and they will be ready the next day! So you’ll end up with dainty, little petals, which have the texture of tissue paper. All you need is a make up brush and Vaseline. Paint the back of the petals with Vaseline, stick them on and that’s it! The main thing to get right is arranging them nicely. It’s also just nice to have a collection of pressed flowers to use for crafts and I put them on handmade cards.
(Photo credit: Hattie Bottom)
How would you describe your style and where do you get your fashion inspirations from?
I’m addicted to Instagram, so I get a lot of inspiration from there. My favourite is Pandora Sykes: she’s a bit more fun. I also like ‘The Man Repeller’, whose whole theme revolves around creating an funky outfits that women love, but men may think they’re just strange and crazy outfits.
What advice would you give people who are new to the blogosphere?
1) Search the most popular hashtags for the topic you’re writing about to see what other people are working on (and how you can be original), but also to connect you to those who are most interested in what you have to say.
2) Take extra care with the images you use on your blog – no one will read it unless it’s visually exciting, and give all of your image files relevant names so they get picked up on google image searches.
3) Make sure you share your blog posts with other publications, businesses and people, where relevant. For example, on student media platforms and any local businesses you mention. It’s a perfect networking opportunity for you and publicity for everyone involved.
4) Add an Instagram or twitter widget to your blog so that there’s constantly something new on your site.
5) Use Instagram in excess for free inspiration and publicity!