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Digital Artefact: Contextual Essay!

Inspired Denim

My Digital Artefact consists of an Instagram account and TikTok account (@Inspireddenim) dedicated to sharing photos and videos of denim jackets and jeans that I have customised. As well as an online Esty account which I have linked on my Instagram account. My digital artefact involves me finding second hand clothing pieces and painting different images on them, and filming and taking photos of the paining process and of the end result.

 I developed this project as I really enjoy painting and art, and wanted to share my work and process of how I hand-paint denim clothing. Painting on denim jackets and on jean pockets is a growing art/fashion trend. Initially, when I started this project I has inspired by @kesslerramirezart, who is one of the most notable figures within this niche. After following Kessler and similar accounts for some time, and after engaging with like-minded users I decided that I wanted to try to develop something similar. Whilst my project’s main utility is to provide entertainment, educational information and inspiration, I also wanted to try monetise my digital artefact, so I created an Etsy store. I think my digital artefact is of value to my audience as the content I share is original and engaging. My target audience was Australian girls aged 13-25, the starter-pack below depicts some ideas that I thought would further illustrate my target users.

Looking back on my project, I’ve had a very slow but steady increase in followers and I’ve struggled to increase and maintain followers on Instagram, which was mainly due to a lack of consistency.

However, despite not posting regularly, my audience remained engaged with my content which seems to reflect that it was of some value.

As for TikTok account, I received zero engagement and no reaction at all from users which was most likely due to the poor quality of the videos and my unfamiliarity with the my target audience on the platform.

As such, it decided that Instagram is the optimal platform for my Digital Artefact and  moving forward I chose to focus most of my energy on maintaining and improving that account.

Through this process I discovered that an effective way to grow my account was by being an active member of the Instagram art community, by liking, commenting on similar content and be following other artists. Doing this resulted in more followers, likes and increased engagement from my target audience.

I also realised the importance of using the Instagram story feature, as it stimulated conversations and gave me valuable insights into what my audience wanted to see.

Following the advice of Ross Hudgens (who discusses the importance of effective framing) I also learnt the importance of framing. When I put more effort into making the photos I shared look more aesthetically pleasing, I achieved greater engagement, as seen in my That 70s Show Jacket post, where I gained a much larger positive reaction then usual from my audience, as well as several requests from people to paint their jackets for them.

I think my project could have been much more effective had I dedicated more time to it, however, I still believe it has allowed me to provide valuable content my audience and users who are interested in art/fashion and the niche of painting on denim.



Module 3: m a k i n g !

Throughout the making stage of my Digital Artefact, I continued to focus on content creation and the curation of my project. My Digital Artefact consists of an Instagram account and TikTok account (@Inspireddenim) dedicated to sharing photos and videos of denim jackets and jeans that I have customised.

In the end, I decided that Instagram was the optimal platform for my project as such that is where I focused the most.

Throughput the development of this project I have struggled to increase and maintain followers as the denim pieces took hours to create and I did not post often enough. If I were to start over I think I would make more effort in posting content showing the process of creating the denim pieces rather than just the final product.

Ultimately, I think the main reason that my project wasn’t as successful as it could have been was that it didn’t fit the F.I.S.T principles; it definitely wasn’t fast and it wasn’t totally inexpensive as it took up a lot of my free time making the denim pieces.

However, it was a really fun project to work on and I enjoyed the process immensely, and at this stage I have had a lot of inquiries from people asking me to customise their clothes, and have currently accepted two requests (so I have made some money through this!).

I think some of the biggest things I have learned are the importance of consistent engagement with your audience and target online community. When I made an effort to like and comment on other artist’s content I almost always received likes and comments in return. The Instagram art community is very supportive, so when I liked the last 9 photos of an account usually they would like my content or follow me.

As for TikTok, it was pretty much a total failure… I currently have a total 11 views and 4 likes.

I think the main reason the TikTok account wasn’t effective was because my content was poor quality and I didn’t fully understand who my audience was on TikTok.

However, on Instagram, I was able to work out exactly who my audience was and try to give them what they wanted.

Ultimately, through the process of developing my project I learnt that my users value the aesthetic appearance of my content the most, as I received a lot more positive feedback when I made greater effort to make my posts look better.

Following this realization during my prototyping stage, I have since I tried my best to make my content look as appealing as possible.

However, my poor time management meant that my Instagram doesn’t look as pretty as I’d hoped, I underestimated the amount of time and effort that goes into making photos look good…

Currently my Instagram account has 141 followers, and whilst that’s not exactly brag-worthy, the followers I do have are organic, engaged and really supportive.

My main goals for this project were to share my passion with others, improve my skills, provide valuable content for my audience and monetisation, which I think (for the most part) I have achieved.

Moving forward, I’m going to continue try my best to grow my account, as painting is a hobby I really enjoy and I want to improve my social media skills, maybe I’ll even sell some more clothes!





Module 2: Make It, Break It and Repeat

Hi there!

This is an update on the progress of my Digital Artefact: Inspired Denim!

Which consists of both an Instagram and TikTok account where I share my own attempts at painting on denim jeans and jackets.


Below you can see what my project looked like when it first started (which let’s be honest, isn’t very appealing).

By observing my audience and engagement I realised that my audience didn’t want to see inspiration/ ideas about what you could paint, they mainly wanted to see my actual attempts. As such, I have stopped putting effort into creating ‘inspiration’ videos and have focused on creating my own, original content (which is more fun anyway).

I also found that when I put more effort into making the photos I shared look more aesthetically pleasing, I achieved greater engagement.

As such each time I share a photo, I keep a close eye on how my audience engages with it so I can learn what to do and what not to do for my next post. I find the more I am sharing the more I am learning about who my audience is, and what they want to see.

As Mel Wicks explains in her blog post about content curation, it’s important to understand your audience the best you can!


So far, my Instagram account has had a (very) slow but steady increase in followers, I have been experimenting with hashtags and spending time creating conversations with similar accounts and finding people interested in my type of content.

As such, it seems Instagram is the optimal platform for my Digital Artefact and I will continue to focus most of my energy on maintaining and improving my account.

Whereas my TikTok account on the other hand, is currently failing… hard. (Fail early, fail often… right?)

For now, I’m going to continue posting videos on TikTok as I know that there is definitely an audience for the content I want to share.

However, I’m also going to start exploring other social media platforms such as YouTube to see if there are other avenues I can take to boost my user engagement.

I am not super confident in my video making/editing skills (which is probably a key reason behind the failing TikToks), and composing my photos and videos to look they best they can, is definitely something I have struggling with, especially as I have a lot of problems finding good lighting and working with my camera’s limited photo quality.

However, Ross Hudgens, in this article, talks about the importance of framing your content specifically for your target audience, which means I need to step up my game when it comes to my Digital artefact’s presentation.

This project is something I’m really passionate about and enjoy doing in my free time, so hopefully I can improve my skills by continuing to create and edit images and videos.

My second TikTok… Lighting and image quality were big issues!

So far, I think the biggest setback I’ve faced while trying to grow my account has been not posting content regularly enough. It takes a long time to find, paint and finish the denim pieces and then photograph and edit the photos/videos, which I think is impacting my audience engagement.

As such, I’m going to post behind the scene photos on my IG story and space them out in between my actual posts to increase my content output, hopefully this helps me increase my followers and keep my own audience engaged.


Whilst I’m currently still practicing and working on improving my artistic skills, my goal for this project is to monetize in the future as such I’ve recently made an Etsy online store account, which I will use to (hopefully) sell the denim pieces I make in the future.

Check it out –>

I’m aware that this project has a lot of flaws, however I really enjoy it and it’s something I am passionate about, so I’m going to keep on making stuff (in real life and online), sharing it, observing my audience’s reaction and trying again!

Hopefully one day my account will look as good as this!


I plan to dedicate more time to finding and painting denim clothing.

Focus more time and energy on taking aesthetic photos of the pieces, and improve my content’s quality.

Post as frequently as I can (at more optimal times).

Explore other social media platforms.

But, most importantly, have fun with my passion!






Digital Artefact: Project Beta!

Hi there!

Here’s an update on the progress of my project ‘Inspired Denim’!

For a reminder on what I set out to do, feel free to check out my previous blog post.

When I first started this project I was initially putting all my effort into physically making the denim art pieces and then just taking a quick photo or video an posting it on my social media accounts (Instagram and TikTok).

This resulted in me uploading some pretty boring and mediocre photos, after receiving very little engagement I decided that I needed to spend more time framing my work in a more aesthetic way that would appeal to my target audience ( 13-25 year old Australian girls).

Moving forwards I made more effort to ensure that the lighting was good, and that the background complimented the denim piece.

I identified that my target audience probably likes succulents, as such I included them in the background of one of my pictures.

Doing this resulted in more followers, likes and increased engagement from my target audience.

I also found that the most effective way to grow my account was by being an active member of the Instagram art community, by liking, commenting on similar content and be following other artists.

These efforts resulted in more followers, engagement and positive feedback.

I also experimented with using different hashtags and discovered that when I used different hashtags then I usually used I was able to reach more people. This is seen in my NASA jeans post, in which i used tags such as #space, #spaceart and #nasa, which resulted in gaining twice as many views as some of my other posts.

So far, trying different things and listening to my audience has lead to positive results for my Instagram account, and I plan to continue to do this to grow my following.

My TikTok on the other hand, has been the embodiment of FEFO (Fail Early, Fail Often), and I currently have only 9 views between the two videos I have posted.

Moving forward I plan to try make better quality videos, by focusing on the lighting, frame and the transitions. Hopefully by doing this I will be able to increase my engagement and grow my account.

Do you have any tips on how I can improve my TikTok account, or Instagram, or have any questions about my project? Please let me know in the comments below!





Americanization and The Red Sea Diving Resort

Netflix’s recently released film, “The Red Sea Diving Resort” is loosely based upon the true story of Mossad agents secretly smuggling Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan to Israel.

Unfortunately what could have been an opportunity to tell an interesting and incredibly complex; both politically and culturally, story, has instead been made into a Hollywood-style, spy action-thriller, complete with a white saviour narrative and cheesy dialogue such as “What we do is dangerous. People get hurt sometimes.” and “We leave no one behind”.

The American made film, focuses on the hero versus villain story line and typical action-thriller cliches, seemingly ignoring it’s intended focus which was to depict the struggles of the refugees.

The film seems to target a western audience, who generally have a limited knowledge of Sudan and its political climate during the 1980s. Berry explains that “In the context of blockbuster film making… films are ‘aimed at an undifferentiated popular audience’. (2017).

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Critic Karen Han believes that, “The only demographic to which The Red Sea Diving Resort won’t be a disappointment is crowd tuning in specifically for Evans, as he spends a good chunk of the movie shirtless, and all of it sporting a great beard.” (2019).

*Currently Netflix offers audio for this film in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, and additional subtitles in Vietnamese and Chinese.*

Consequently, it seems as though the director didn’t want to draw attention to the political and cultural intricacies of the film’s context at all, instead choosing to use two dimensional stock characters and to derive tension from a stereotypical, good guy vs. bad guy plot.

The film ultimately, distracts the audience from the politics behind the true story, conveniently creating an easy to follow, action-packed movie, that most audiences familiar with the genre would understand.

Image result for americanisation

“The Red Sea Diving Resort” can be said to reflect aspects the concept of Americanisation or cultural homogenisation, which refers to “the power of the dominant culture to overshadow and even overtake local cultures.” (Saylor Academy, 2012.)

Despite featuring other cultural details such a variety of ethnicities, languages and an Ethiopian inspired soundtrack, the film still felt very Americanised to me.

Perhaps this is because the director Gideon Raff, has strived to make this film as appealing to the widest, global audience possible, by focusing on the universal genre of good vs. evil? However, by the end I had actually forgotten the film was based on a true story and not just a Hollywood action-thriller, for me it was missing that depth needed to make it feel real.

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The film also highlights the Global North and South Divide, by creating a strong contrast between the characters and the settings of Britain and Europe, opposed to Sudan. The white saviour narrative is particularly prevalent throughout the development of the film, with the main characters depicted as confident, brave and powerful, opposed to the African characters who are consistently portrayed as weak in contrast. Critic Mark Kennedy describes that “With the exception of Kabede, no African is portrayed as decent or honest or normal.” (2019).

Image result for red sea diving resort cast


Miskell P, 2016, ‘International Films and International Markets: The Globalisation of Hollywood Entertainment’, Media History, Vol. 22, No. 2

Berry, C. (2003). “What’s big about the big film?”: “de-Westernizing” the blockbuster in Korea and China. In J. Stringer (Ed.), Movie Blockbuster. London: Routledge.

Kennedy M, 2019, ‘Netflix sinks low with ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’, The Times of Israel, viewed 01 September 2019, < >

Han K, 2019, ‘Netflix’s Red Sea Diving Resort gives Chris Evans a white savior complex’, Polygon, viewed 01 September 2019,<>

Jackson D, 2019, ‘Netflix’s Chris Evans Thriller ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’ Doesn’t Go Deep Enough’, Thrillist,viewed 01 September 2019,<>

Saylor Academy, 2012, ‘Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication’, Vol 1, viewed 01 September 2019, < >

Hip Hop, Rap and Globalisation

In the 1980s, the musical genres of rap and hip hop began increasing in global popularity. This rapid rise to global prominence can likely be attributed to the introduction of the internet and new communication technologies, which consequently accelerated the globalisation process.

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Initially originating from African American communities in America during the 1970s, nowadays, localised versions of Hip Hop and Rap can be found all over the world.

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Typically, Hip Hop and Rap music reflect an individual’s national and cultural identity, and are often a means to express the issues important to them.

Initially, rap was, “a means of presenting social and political commentary and only later branched into sub-genres that were more mainstream and commercial.” (Thorman M, 2018).

However, over the years the genre has developed to include different hybrid and sub genres such as Grime, Gutter rap, Trap, Country rap, Christian Hip Hop and more (Adega, 2013).


As Fabienne Darling-Wolf explains, the success of hip hop as a genre can be attributed to “its asserted link (actual or imagined) to highly local contexts.” and “links to an imagined global community.” Darling-Wolf also establishes that the the key characteristic of the Hip Hop/ Rap genre is that it is regarded as an authentic representation of an individuals experiences within that context (2015).

Researcher, Ian Condry agrees, proposing that “‘keeping it real’ has had greater influence in the globalization/localization of hip‐hop…than mere marketibility” (2007).

An example of cultural hybridisation can be seen in Japan where the Hip Hop/ Rap genre has steady increased in popularity since the 80s. Nowadays, Hip Hop in Japan has it’s own style, such as the music of female rapper Hime (Princess) who began experimenting with classical Japanese poetry within her music.

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Japanese Hip Hop artist; Hime

Due to the globalised nature of the Hip Hop and Rap genres, cultural appropriation is often a discussed topic.

Cultural appropriation can be explained to be, “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.”(Blatchford, 2017).

Cultural Appropriation becomes particularly relevant when looking at a dominant culture taking things from another culture that is experiencing oppression.


Adams R, 2019,“Home sweet home, that’s where I come from, where I got my knowledge of the road and the flow from: Grime music as an expression of identity in postcolonial London”, Popular Music and Society, viewed 01 September 2019, <;

Adega A, 2013, ‘Genre Research: Hip Hop’, viewed 01 September 2019, <;


Blatchford, E, 2017, ‘What Exactly Is Cultural Appropriation? Here’s What You Need To Know’, HuffPost, published: 26 October 2017, viewed 01 September 2019, <;

Condry, I, 2007, ‘Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization’, NC: Duke University Press, viewed 01 September 2019, < >

Darling-Wolf , F, 2015 , ‘Imagining the Global:Transnational Media and Popular Culture Beyond East and West’

Format Reality TV- The International Sensation

After a long day, one thing I love to do is zone out and watch some good ol’ fashioned, (some might say ‘trashy’) reality TV.

Well, the other night I was watching “If You Are the One” a humorous, Chinese dating show, and I couldn’t help but think that it seemed really familiar.

Countries with localized versions of the “Taken Out” format.

A quick google search later, and I found out that the show is based on an Australian show aired in 2008, called ‘Taken Out’ which had failed to capture an audience.

Despite it’s failure in Australia, this format has gone on to find success in over 30 other countries!

The international success of this format has even prompted Australian broadcaster; Channel 7, to try it again with their “new” dating show “Take Me Out”.

“If You Are the One” is “currently the most viewed entertainment show in China with a viewing audience of up to 50 million per episode.”

So, why is it so popular internationally?

This type of show is a form of reality television is called ‘Format TV’, and in an increasingly global and connected world, its characteristics allow it to travel and often prosper on an international level with relative ease.

The structures of these shows are already defined, they are flexible and easily adapted to suit what a broadcaster perceives to be their audiences’ taste. All broadcasters need to do is localize them for their audience, they do this primarily through “people, language, décor, and cultural differences.” (Turnball, 2019)

This is where the concept of cultural proximity comes into play.

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Live Cultural map – WVS (1981-2015)  < >

Cultural proximity was first defined by Joseph Straubhaar and can be explained as “where viewers seek to recognize and relate to familiar cultural elements, such as language, ethnic appearance, humour, historical reference and so on.” As such, perhaps the success of format TV proves that television continues to be connected with local an national cultures? (Loisen et al. 2018)

Interestingly, “If You Are the One” has not only found success nationally, but also continues to increase in popularity overseas, even in Australia. The show was first broadcast on SBS in 2013 with English subtitles and “has become the longest running non-English program in Australian broadcasting history.” As Dr Jing Han explains, “The show has provided Australian viewers with direct access to the lives of ordinary Chinese people and the contemporary society of China”. However, because the show was produced and intended for a Chinese audience, it has made translating the show into English difficult, particularly when it comes to translation of humour, youth culture and slang. (CSAA, 2017).

Comedy can be especially difficult to communicate internationally, as comedy and humour often rely on more than just the words or actions. As Medhurst explains, it can include, “inflection, timing, nuance, gesture, the balance of sound and silence, the unexpected or willful pronunciation of key words, the raising of eyebrows or the flipping of wrists.”

Perhaps the key to this show’s success is it’s universal theme of love? Sumi Connock, a creative directore of formats at BBC Worldwide believes that the best global formats are built upon universal themes, “that viewers anywhere can relate to, such as cooking, dating or dancing.” (Thomas D, 2017).

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!


Iordache, C, Van Audenhove, L, Loisen, J, 2018, ‘Global media flows: A qualitative review of research methods in audio-visual flow studies‘, SAGE Journals, viewed 01 September 2019, <>

‘Transformation of a Chinese dating show If You Are the One for the Australian Audience’, University of New South Wales, viewed 01 September 2019, <;

Thomas D, 2017, ‘How to turn a hit TV show into an international success’, BBC News, viewed 01 September 2019, < >

Module 1: The Process of Ideation

Hi there! Thank’s for checking in, consider this post an update on my digital artefact- ‘Inspired Denim’!

At the beginning of BCM114 I initially began brainstorming a whole lot of different ideas of what I could do for my Digital Artefact.

I considered taking over and running my mum’s wedding hair-styling business page, helping my Aunt boost her online presence with her personal training business or continuing to post on my dog’s Instagram page. However, I realised that all three of these ideas were going to take up a fair bit of my time, and they weren’t things I was particularly passionate about.

This lead me to think about what things I was already doing in my free time…

Over the break I had really enjoyed getting in touch with my creative side, so I decided that that was an option I should definitely explore.

Whilst I was still looking around for some new ideas I started exploring different social media platforms I wasn’t particularly familiar with such as Twitch and TikTok. On these I found a whole lot of creative inspiration!

And thus, the idea for ‘Inspired Denim’ was born…

Painting on denim jeans and jacket’s has been a fairly niche but growing trend I have been following for quiet some time.

Personally, I think it’s a really fun way to customize and add some personality to your clothes, and it seems as though quiet a few people agree with me.

Since this is something I’m interested in and enjoy doing, it made sense to me to take some videos and pictures of my own attempts and share it with others.

Before committing to this project I asked around my various social circles and was met with a largely positive response. (Would I have done it anyway even if everyone said it was a bad idea? Probably.)

After doing a little observing, the audience (including myself) for this trend seems to be primarily based on Instagram and TikTok, as such I decided to stick with these platforms for now.

Here’s a starter-pack that I think might apply to my audience.

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So far, I’ve made both an Instagram and TikTok account for my project, both named @inspireddenim.

Check it out at:
My first TikTok vid!

Moving forward, I plan on making more effort in taking ” a e s t h e t i c” photos for my Instagram page that will appeal to my target audience and incorporating different elements from the starter pack (succulents, books, paint pallets).

Here’s my inspiration for where I want this project to end up.

As for this project’s potential downfalls, I’m aware that this project doesn’t particularly fit the F.I.S.T principles discussed in class. It’s not fast (the painting takes a while), it’s relatively inexpensive (I already own the materials I need), it’s kind of simple but not really (making the content takes a bit of effort) and I’m not really sure If you could call it tiny…

However, this is a project I’m genuinely passionate about and I really enjoy the process, so despite it’s flaws I plan on moving ahead and to keep failing early and failing often.

That’s all for now, be sure to check in soon!


An Introduction

Hi there!

My name is Alina and over the next couple months I will be undertaking the subject BCM111 (Global Media) as a part of my Bachelor of Communication and Media.

So far, one thing this subject has made me consider is how global I am, and I’ve realised that whilst I consider myself (sorta) worldy, in reality I have sorta lived in a bubble most my life. Whilst, I have been lucky enough to travel overseas I’ve only really experienced other countries as a tourist.

However, this is something I look forward to changing, and I’m sure I’m not alone in dreaming of travelling around the world one day.

So far I have ticked off: Thailand, Fiji, Hawaii, England, Wales, Italy and France. Next on my list of dream travel destinations would have to be Greece, Croatia, the Maldives and French Polynesia.

Can you tell I like warm weather?

As for my global media consumption, unfortunately it’s pretty limited. (Which is definitely something I plan on changing.)

I have however, always loved French films.

Here’s some of my favourites, have you seen any of them?

  • Life is Beautiful
  • Amélie
  • The Intouchables
  • Belle et Sébastion (1 & 2)
  • Coco Chanel
  • Les Chorists
  • Amour et Turbulances
  •  La Vie en Rose

I’m aware this list is quiet small, and I look forward to exploring more foreign films, are there any you would recommend?

That’s enough about me though, I want to hear about you!

So, how global are you?

Digital Artefact: Project Pitch!

Hi there, this is my (BCM114- Making Media) Digital Artefact Project Pitch!

What am I going to do?

This project is based upon my love of art and explores the growing trend I’ve noticed online of people customising and painting jeans/denim. It will involve me finding second hand clothing pieces and painting different images.

How am I going to do this?

I am going to buy second hand denim pieces and paint them. Film the process, take some pictures of the end result and upload them to Instagram, Tik Tok and Pinterest + advertise where you can buy them.

So, why did I choose to do this?

It’s a growing niche within the online art/fashion community, I might be able to make some money + it’s fun!

Why is this useful/ relevant to users?

It will provide entertainment, educational information and inspiration so that they can create their own pieces. My DA will also be relevant to users as the content is original and engaging.

Interested? Check out it out at @inspireddenim on Instagram and Tik Tok!

I would love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comment section!

My BCm114 Project Pitch Video
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