Meet the artist behind the iconic Instagram account...
Written by Charlotte Bendkowski
We speak to Araceli Segura, insta-art genius and founder of @showerthoughtsnyc about her app tips and the creative process behind making a 'shower thought.'
What is the first app you open when you wake up and why?
The first app I open when I wake up is always Instagram. I like to see how my posts did overnight especially because I have a lot of followers in Europe. Also I just really like to creep on the world before having to actually respond to anyone which is why I don't open WhatsApp or emails until after I've had at least one coffee. But I think mainly because it just became a bad habit to procrastinate a little and look at memes, friend's stories from the night before and to avoid responsibilities.
Which is your favourite food app, whether if be for recipes, ordering food, or planning grocery shops and meals?
I do not find pleasure in cooking (at all), so I hate having to look at recipes and buying "the things I need" to make something. So the only food app I'd use is literally anything that is similar to Uber Eats. I order a lot of poke bowls. I'm also someone that eats the same like 5 meals since I was 18. So whenever it comes to grocery shopping I literally buy the same sh*t all the time. I like making super easy but yummy salads, DIY parfaits and ham and cheese pita bread sandwiches. Besides that I don't go crazy with my meals because I like eating out often. If I ever do use an app to plan my meals or my groceries its literally just on the notes app.
Which is your favourite social media app?
I think Instagram - even thought use it mainly for work purposes whether it's to post illustrations on @showerthoughts, engage with my followers or to promote brands on my personal account, I do love stalking boys on Instagram, I think its the best way these days. I also think it's a great platform to meet people and do some networking. Instagram has opened so many doors for me by simply being on it. So many work relationships or even friendships started out as a follow or a like haha. I think Instagram can be a little toxic because usually what people post is very far from what they are IRL but I feel like if you make it an environment where you follow the right accounts and people, it can be a very cool, productive and inspiring community. As an artist I'm a very visual person, so I do enjoy looking at beauty whether its someone's Instagram aesthetic or beautiful person because for me it's all art.
What app can you not live without?
Instagram. It's the platform I use the most for work and social purposes. If Instagram dies, all my work is gone which means I would literally not be able to live!
Which app do you love to hate?
TikTok. I have spent so many hours on Tiktok this year that I am slightly embarrassed to even admit it BUT I do believe Tiktok has it's charm. It can be very cringey and weird and it took me a while to understand the culture in there but Tiktok has also helped me so much getting through it this year. there are so many creative people on this app that there's something interesting for every kind of person who enjoys watching. I feel like you can be yourself on it. Tiktok has been very therapeutic for me. I went through a break up and Tiktok's content is filled with empowering messages and jokes and it really helps people feel less alone. But I hate it sometimes because I will fall into the Tiktok hole and suddenly it's 3 am and I'm watching a guy drinking white claws with an actual goose for no reason.
Do you use any health apps?
Yes. I use the app Flo to track my period, I use the I am Sober app for whenever I want to do a detox or take a break something (usually from alcohol). It's such a good app because it's for ANY kind of addiction. It's an app that helps you get sober from things like alcohol to video games to social media and it's very on top of you and it offers communities for you to talk to other people about your goals and your milestones haha. It's very cool and I've been using it for a few years now. Whenever I'm doing intermittent fasting I use the Body Fast app, and whenever I want to count the calories I consume or to remind myself to drink water I like to use My Fitness Pal.
What is your favourite emoji?
Definitely the alien 👽 But the one I use the most is the monkey covering its face because I'm just always trying to hide my mess with a cute little innocent monkey 🙈
Do you have your apps organised in folders by categories, or is it a free for all?
I do have folders. I have a photography folder for all my editing apps, I have my financial folder for my different bank accounts and worldwide Venmo's and then I have my health folder where I keep my self help apps, anything food, health and exercise related.
Do you use any meditation or sleep apps?
I don't. But recently I've been playing 10 hour youtube videos on my TV to help me sleep. It's either a video of a fireplace or of a mild thunderstorm and it helps me feel less alone and cozy at night.
What app would you create if you could?
I would create some kind of Raya but for freelancers. So like an app that would help you match with a potential clients or vice versa. I would also create an app that helped you to NOT text your ex. So you could somehow link the number or the name with the app and then every time you want to text this person, the app would be like. 'DONT DO IT ! YOU'RE GONNA REGRET IT!' or that you can set it up purposely so that you can't text a person even if you wanted to.
Tell us about what prompted you to start ‘Shower Thoughts NYC'?
I've always loved to write, when I was in college I used to do a lot of journaling and I thought it would be cool to share some of my thoughts. It began as a therapeutic online blog that I created, and that no one was reading. But it was a place where I could freely write about my struggles and my life without feeling judged or too exposed. I started doing this because I wanted to start something special not just for me but also for other women who might be feelings the same things I was. It was completely anonymous and even when I turned it into an Instagram account I didn't want people to know it was me. I slowly turned it into a dark but cute & humorous account because I knew it would grab people's attention. In 2014 people only loved memes, dogs, food and Alexis Ren. I added the botch character/avatar immediately when I realised people hated reading so I started to turn these thoughts into illustrated memes. The botch evolved so much since then and she slowly became a virtual me. People started to associate this account with 'Araceli', so this character that I had created to express women's thoughts became like an influencer because she started promoting brands and people wanted to know who was behind the screen, so thats when I kind of started to represent her IRL.
How do you get inspired to create them?
My inspiration usually comes from whatever I'm going through at the moment but also if there's something going on in the world that many women can relate to, I'll try to think of a witty post about it. But it's mainly inspired by the people and the situations around me.
What is the process of making the shower thoughts?
The process begins with a feeling. Depending on what I'm going through and how I'm feeling I will come up with a meme vibe quote or thought and then I will think of a way to represent this situation as clear as possible. So once I have the thought or joke in mind I will find the right way to express this feeling whether it's with the right facial expressions, the right outfit, the right props and in the right scenario. So the process is: thought > illustration > photoshopped props > scenario from Pinterest > caption.
Do you have any advice for people who want to showcase their creativity on Instagram?
My advice is to just DO IT. I know so many people with amazing ideas but with so much fear of failure that they aren't brave enough to actually even start it. Planning and organising an idea or a project is crucial but you never know how successful it's gonna be until you put it to work. Now especially on social media you don't really know what people like until you show them, so for me there was a lot of trial and error. I made a few mistakes, I explored different ways of making my page what it is today, so I think my only advice is to go for it and to never give up. When you're creative and something doesn't work out, you'll always come up with something better - that's why you're called a creative !
Tell us about your brand ‘the nude prude’ page, it is the perfect mix of minimalism and sleek elegance.
@thenude prude is actually my college thesis but its also such a representation of who I am. I called it 'The Nude Prude' because clearly it's a paradox and thats how I feel about myself. I feel like I have this very liberal and sexual side but I also grew up in such traditional and close minded societies that I struggle until this day to actually be myself 100%. So the nude represents the transparency that I want to give as an artist and as a woman and the prude represents my suppressed feelings and the limits and the rules that I feel like I have to respect as a girl. The brand is everything that I love. I love simple things but I also love elegance so I try to find a way to create things that transmit both elegance and simplicity and I think I achieved it in some ways. I want my things to be comfortable and minimal but I also want my products and my brand to look expensive and classy which is what I try to be... haha.
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