Since I have been in this cottage, I have been thinking about how I can share my experience about the stay. What I should film and why it would be interesting? But the thing is, it is not. It’s not exciting to be here, and I guess that is the whole point… To slow down?
On the other hand, I said it many times, I am not into slow living. I am a driven person who always runs from one experience to the other, chasing improvement, learning opportunities and beauty. I am so not going to slow down, because when I slow down, I feel old. I also get bored pretty fast, and I just have this need to generate “output”.
So even here, on this workcation (therefore ~50% vacation), I feel that drive. I want to write and be creative and do stuff. And I am constantly trying to be better. Now, I am concentrating on filmmaking. I’ve come across a pretty weird YouTuber because of that, Isabel Paige.
Isabel Paige, a problematic YouTuber creating beautiful plotless videos
She has been subject to criticism, because she seems to have been pretty intransparent about how she came about a large piece of developed yet super secluded land, and for practicing some unsafe and odd behavior in the wild. She lives on her parents’ land, not having been paying a dime for it, has access to their summer home and bathroom (lol), but makes it actively look like her tiny home is in the total wilderness without cell service (correct me if I’m wrong, but she seems to mention it quite a bit that she is “off-grid” etc. and in the early vlogs she talks about not having enough money to build her tiny house, which would have been way cheaper than all of the land and building the roads etc. there… so there is room for raising a bunch of questions—which she reportedly deletes from her channel).
I watched at least 10 of her videos, and if I hadn’t known that before, I would have assumed that she’s a girl who moved to the woods totally by herself (and then later also had her boyfriend there occasionally or full time?—also not super clear to me) to be somewhat self-sufficient. All of that seemed to have been financed by her own work as a yoga teacher and at a grocery store while constantly complaining about money problems and hardship (and therefore needing patreon support). See where I’m getting at? As I said, seems a bit shady.
However, her videos are absolutely stunning and almost cinematic. (Note to anybody struggling with filming beautiful videos: This is not at all hard though, if you are living in a beautiful place in the mountains, being 20 and hot. So don’t compare your ugly suburbs apartment to any of it and feel bad about yourself. You are probably doing a pretty great job!) She figured it out pretty nicely how to transport that feeling of cold coziness, is what I call it. That thing you also have in most of Jonna Jinton’s videos. Loneliness caught on camera, cold, yet making you feel comfortabe… I like it. However, I don’t get how not everybody who comes across her channel sees how fake it is. Just the whole tone in which she talks. Like a TED-talk on extasy.
The best example of what I don’t want to be
I am just talking about this, because I want to give you an example of what I don’t want to be. Her. I find it so utterly pathetic and it is just so awkard to watch her videos… All she does is basically saying “Oh my goooood, these strawberries taste soooo amazing” and “I looooove these cold mornings” and “The beautiful mountaiiiiins”… ugh. There is literally no plot to any of her content. They aren’t even vlogs. They are assemblages. And I’m never sure whether I should feel embarrassed by proxy or laugh out loud. It’s just, hm, how can I say it, uuuh, sooooo ridiiiiicuolous.
This whole “pillow talk voice” and the “lonely girl in the woods” coquetry, how does anybody fall for that? This is exactly why I like Jonna Jinton a lot more. She makes videos that actually include some hardships of hers, they have a plot and they are still cinematic and calm. But she doesn’t completely give into this helpless fairy vibe. She does definitely have a fairy vibe going on though…
Wearing nothing but a sexy midi-dress in the woods is not safe
Anyway, guys, do not go into the woods, wearing nothing but a summer dress and rubber boots. Don’t do that. You’ll get eaten alive by ticks. And no, don’t all-over-yourself with DEET. That crap ain’t healthy either. Look at Jonna. She wears proper G-1000 pants, heavy boots and mosquito-repellant, and the only video where she wears a dress in the snow is a parody of nordic cabin life. That’s how it’s done. Isabel could learn so much from her ;-D
Anyway, Paige is a great inspiration for me, because all I have to do to make videos that I actually like is to learn from her stills and leave out all the phone tiny house fairy mumbo jumbo. That is the plan for the next weeks, because I actually do want to shoot a bunch of really nice videos in an Instagram aesthetic style. It is my style anyway (toned-down colors, faded dark tones etc.), I am just not at the level of quality where I want to be.
Also, to anyone who thinks that I am just jealous of Isabel. Well, believe whatever you want, but I’m not a full-time YouTuber, I don’t want to be one, and I do not care about your opinion on something I certainly know how I feel about (which is not jealous but just a little irritated). I only ever discovered her channel because I watch Anna’s Analysis. And I think Anna makes some excellent points about Isabel and many other problematic influencers out there. She deserves every bit of criticism she got and more, because it is not right to make your audience believe that you are a starving artist, when you actually are an upper middle class kid with a huge safety net and access to two houses. Also, I am a physicist and developer with a lot of savings, no problem whatsoever to find a job, and I surely don’t care about my YouTube income (unlike Isabel). My own Patreon account just serves one purpose: If people give me money there, I can take away time from my paid project work and put it into YouTube and therefore make more and better videos. Why would I be jealous of a totally uneducated twenty-something living in the woods, being financially dependent of Patreon and her parents?
I want to make better videos and share more real talk
However, in my videos, there is plenty of room for improvement. Because unlike Fake-a-bel, I can’t really “story-tell” you a cute little lonely girl fairy tale. I simply can’t. So that is the hardest part. The part I am working on right now. I don’t have and to not want the ability to sigh something into the camera, put on a dreamy face and hope for people to jerk off to my “hommage to Lyme’s disease” gowns. I have to realistically sustain myself here.
So, 50% of the time, I am actually just sitting at my computer in the kitchen, working. 15-25% of the time I am doing “recreational cottage things” as in chopping wood, raking grass, cleaning the house, harvesting apples and preparing food. The other 25-35% are hiking, being creative, playing with my kid and grocery shopping. Because I am not willing to make you believe that I can eat from the acre in front of me, and I would totally have to puke myself in the face, if I would ever pull a bunch of carrots out of the ground (that’s a Tinkerbell Paige reference again), then show you all my stupidly super-dirty fingers, cause I’m too dumb to put on gloves (or I think they are not photogenic enough for the cottage ASMR-lusting crowd), and then smell them and say “Aaaah, these carrots taste soooo delicious” with that “Please, pick me up and carry me over the threshold” look in my eyes. I just can’t. It’s too ridiculous.
Yeah, sorry not sorry. Maybe now a hoard of blood-lusting Isa-fake fans will come crawling into my comment section and tell me how mean I am. But you know what. I like being mean. And being honestly mean is better than being fake-friendly. Anyway, please don’t go to her channel and pass my meanness on. Not because it’s wrong. But it’s just a waste of time. Narcissists don’t care about your opinion, they only want praise.