How one beauty influencer made her own space on social media
Devin Jones has always had a passion for art. She went to art school and fell in love with painting, but she admits she doesn’t think she had the patience to spend months at a time on an individual work of art. So, she turned to the beauty industry, where she could create unique and fleeting paintings using the human body and face. She started to share her artistry and recommended products with her friends and clients, and realized, what better way to start that engine than social media?
Today, Devin has a loyal following of beauty lovers that eagerly await her Instagram posts, stretching across the topics of beauty, fashion, and art. Her posts are not only meant to show her creativity, but also to inspire others to find their own. Oh, and did we mention she uses her digital presence for good? Specifically, partnering with The Lambert House to create Gender Affirming kits for LGBTQ+ youth - I mean, how amazing is that?
Devin is slaying the beauty landscape and it’s about time you get to know her. We had the chance to chat about her journey to becoming a social media influencer and how her struggles have helped her along the way.
The void: What was your biggest fear in starting this journey and how did you overcome it?
Devin: My biggest fear starting down my social media/beauty influencer path was the fear of the unknown and whether or not I could "cut the mustard.” I think a lot of people feel like that when they’re starting out. And being in the beauty industry, you look at all these other accounts and think, "I don't look like them.” Especially being plus-size, it's hard to get past that and realize that you don't have to be cookie-cutter -- you can forge your own path.
“...where I’m from, it's not popular to do what I'm doing,
and I was really afraid of what people would think of me putting myself out there.”
There's a lot of self-talk saying: "I'm not as put together as that. I don't look like all these other women. I don't have the time to post that much or afford those products. How will I ever get that many followers? Will I make money?" and the list goes on and on. I’m also not a huge self-promoter, so it was hard to visualize pushing myself onto all my friends and acquaintances while I grew my social media following. And on top of that, where I’m from, it's not popular to do what I'm doing, and I was really afraid of what people would think of me putting myself out there.
The void: At what point did you think "f*ck it, I'm just going to do it" and took the risk?
Devin: I think that's the funny thing -- I think you constantly have to say “f*ck it, I'm just going to do it,” in this business. Being an influencer isn't this straight line to fame and followers. You go through a rollercoaster of emotion with every post, every time you lose a follower or every time a brand doesn't want to work with you. As I continue to interact in the community or even mentor new influencers, it's HARD. You have to choose to do this again and again.
My major moment actually came just recently: I was working a 9-5 job, dealing with the repercussions of gallbladder removal on top of living with chronic illness (fibro), and then taking on a night class. I was so overwhelmed most nights I came home and I would just cry. And then, I would pick myself up and do another four or five hours of work on my social media account, watching "normal" photos that I wasn't proud of get less and less engagement.
One day, I went to see my mom, and after I cried and blubbered about stress and quitting, like one does, she asked me what my dream was. I said my dream was to keep doing this, to create impactful images with brands, but I feel like I wasn’t doing that anymore because that's not what people wanted to see. She asked me what I had learned in art school about the most famous artists: “Didn't most of them remain unknown and struggle to create work that moved them? Weren't they doing things that people thought were out there and strange?” And I asked myself, why do I feel restricting to these ideas of what a photo or an account should look like? Why was I beholden to some insane idea of what success in this industry should look like?
“I'm going to do the work that makes me happy and challenges me
and I'm going to stop forcing myself to follow a rubric that isn’t working.”
That's when I really said f*ck it. I'm going to do the work that makes me happy and challenges me and I'm going to stop forcing myself to follow a rubric that isn’t working. It's so funny, the moment I did that, things have shifted. Every time I have a low day, I find the universe sending me reassurance through an email, a compliment, a package I didn't know what was coming.
The void: What do you think the power of music is and how has it helped you on this path?
Devin: I could go on and on about this question. I think the power of music is entirely real. I think it can compel us forward in the right circumstances, it can tell our story without us having to, it creates the atmosphere for every action. I mean, music has been my life since I can remember. Growing up, I still remember learning to sing the Beatles as a punishment from my father when we were being awful on our camping trips or the first CD my mom had in her car (Great White, Once Bitten Twice Shy). When I was a little kid, I had my adenoids out so I wouldn’t go completely deaf, and i learned to sing because it was easier than learning to speak at the time. I was and still am a musician and I even live in a very music-centered city (Seattle).
“I think the power of music is entirely real.
I think it can compel us forward in the right circumstances,
it can tell our story without us having to, it creates the atmosphere for every action.”
But to answer the big question here: has music helped me on my journey? Definitely. It is the thread that runs through everything I do. I get inspiration from songs or performers. It creates a connection to my audience. When I post lyrics, people get excited the know the song. Add a clip to a video, and it tells the story of the look you’re creating. Play a sexy song while I’m posing for photos and it empowers with that attitude to be “Glamazongirlsglow”.
On a personal note, music has helped me move through the hard times and the joys -- it becomes my memory of situations and holds all the thoughts and feelings I have had in any particular moment. For example, “Sadie” by Gold Star has been on repeat for me for weeks because I heard it in a YouTube Video by StyleLikeU. Basically, this incredibly empowered woman was talking over it and dancing to it and in that moment, it made me feel okay with the choices I’m making and what I’m letting go of at this moment.
Make sure to follow Devin here and check out her monthly Astrology collaboration with top astrologer and life coach, Stephanie Gailing. And stay tuned for her new website launching in April that will be focused on all things beauty, fashion, and art!
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