Finding inspiration from the world around you is something that 22-year-old DJ and musician Jess knows all about. “I remember a girl I used to see at my train station everyday as a kid who had pink hair, big platform boots and black clothes,” she says. “I thought at the time, I want to be like her!”
In a way, Jess’s dream came true. As a young adult, she now dresses in a way that combines Goth influences with different flourishes from other subcultures that resonate with her, like video games and raving. “There have been times when I tried to change or hide parts of myself to make more friends or fit in,” she says. “But it’s not worth losing the sense of identity that comes from expressing who you are in the process.”
For Jess, her interests act as a form of escapism. “I find the real world is a bit boring sometimes,” she explains, “so I prefer to ignore it and escape into a world of fantasy through looking at art, playing video games or more literally by dressing up with a silly made up theme and taking photos.”
Of course, finding those all important items that help you express your sense of self can be hard. When Jess saw that girl at the train station, she would have inevitably had to go on a long, arduous search in order to find similar items that she felt would help her express herself in her own personal way. Using Google’s new search feature, however, allows you to search what you see so you can find those obscure and hard-to-find things, unlocking your creative potential.
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To see how Jess brings her world to life, we asked her to style her own set incorporating things she found using the Google app. Instead of typing out searches and trying to describe the indescribable, Jess simply tapped the camera icon in the search bar and could get it for herself. We also spoke to her about the importance of self-expression, the significance of surrounding yourself with people who share your interests and how this new way of searching for things has enhanced her creativity.
What initially drew you to the Goth aesthetic?
As a kid, I always liked dark things: dark music, colours, TV shows and so on. Then I saw that girl on the train station and knew I wanted to be like her.
What other subcultures or interests resonate with you?
I love to rave, DJ, fashion and makeup, making music and art, and playing video games.
Have you made friends through your interests?
I like finding people who have things in common with me or who like the same things, but what matters more to me is that they are kind and I feel lucky to have met a lot of kind people through my interests in fashion, music, art, video games and so on. I think most of my friends now are people I met clubbing or online who I started talking to about our shared interests.
What impact has surrounding yourself with other people who share your interests had on you?
Being surrounded by friends who share my interests is like nothing else. There’s always people to hype you up and have fun with, which makes me feel a lot less lonely and more understood. But it’s good to have friends who share different interests too. I’m lucky to have a good balance.
How did you get into making music?
I had always wanted to make music but I didn’t know anything about it and found it really intimidating, as I don’t have a musical background. But with the free time I had over lockdown, I was reading and watching a lot of interviews from musicians I like and hearing about the production side of things. I realised that it’s not as inaccessible as I had thought so I decided to try making some music for the first time.
How do you think your various interests have impacted your artistry?
In every possible way. I draw inspiration from the things I enjoy. Even subconsciously, it all gets squashed into my brain and comes out in everything I do.
What does it mean to you to express yourself authentically?
For me, expressing myself and being around people who share my interests is really important. I find trying to hide or change part of myself almost painful, so it’s great to be around people who can support and encourage you. Authenticity for me is not just about how you express yourself with clothes, but also how you can express yourself in your words and actions. I feel like once you can express your true self on the outside, the inside will start to show itself too.
How does Google help you find things that express your creativity?
Sometimes, I’m out and about and see different shoes and accessories, and I think, ‘I’d love to try that.’ With Google’s new search feature I can find even more inspiration and get closer to the aesthetics, things and people that I love by searching for things I see.
What has being a part of these various communities been like as a young person?
Having a space where you can be authentic has been so important to me. It has played a huge role in making the friends I have and the opportunities I’ve been able to have, so I can’t even imagine how my life would be without that. I also think people my age have more access to different communities and styles than ever before with technology, so they can find things that they would never have even known existed previously, so there’s more opportunity to find your authentic self.
To get closer to the things you love and search what you see, try the Google app here.
Search results on the Google Search feature may vary depending on visual matches.