If you have ever googled “Tumblr famous” or used the Internet, then you’ve heard of Molly Soda. The Detroit-based digital artist uses Youtube, Newhive, Tumblr and other platforms to produce and share a number of work mostly based around herself at home. Her work is chaotic, charming, and often melancholy – Soda has produced several videos where she cries or sings alone to the camera while hanging out at home. Her apparent candour and performance of the self is iconic.

I’m a fan, and I can’t pretend not to be. Soda’s complete commitment to her art and girls spoke to me, and made me feel a little more confident in myself as someone who never quite grew out of being a teenaged girl. As a woman who grew up with the Internet, my entire life was public. Bebo, MySpace, MSN…the way in which I presented myself online was everything, and was at odds with my diary at the time. I recently made the choice to publish my diaries online via Newhive, the antithesis of what my twelve year old self would have wanted.

When I arrived at Molly Soda’s exhibition: FROM MY BEDROOM TO YOURS at Annka Kultys gallery in East London, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I expected a lot of pink, glitter, and kitschy aesthetics. I was not disappointed. The small gallery space had been painted pastel pink and filled with pink tables, pink TVs, and technology. Every space held an iPad, MacBook or iPhone with Soda’s work playing, some with sound. Dido’s White Flag played over, and over, and over (as it did in my youth). The space was covered in glitter, diamonds, flowers, teddy bears, and the youthful aesthetic that has become synonymous with Soda’s art. The work itself, some of her most iconic videos and Newhive pieces from over the years, is delightfully at odds with the ‘girly’ pinks. It speaks of the real juxtaposition that happens within young women, wherein we feel such intense sadness and pain in intimate girly bedroom spaces.


I was lucky enough to speak to Molly (not her real name) at length, but I wasn’t journalist enough to record it or indeed prepare interview questions. In conversation she was shy, sweet, and insightful. We spoke about digital art and she was happy to educate my novice self. We got into the nature of art, and what is it? Who decides what is tasteful, or correct? We came to the conclusion that anything can be art, but that we both connected more with more modern art that spoke to our experience. I posited that it’s nice to feel a genuine connection and know that you aren’t the only sad girl crying in your bedroom. We talked about how hard it can be to connect with traditional art, and how important it is to have art that does speak to us. Soda spoke eloquently and passionately about Shia LaBeouf’s #AllMyMovies project and the participatory, community experience that his piece became – bringing everyone from all over the world. We talked about finding old diaries, and how to choose which names to omit or keep. I was surprised to hear that even with time, she was still embarrassed about their contents, but liked to share. I told her about my own Newhive diary pieces, and she was enthusiastic, asking to see a link to them.

“I want to read your diary!”

What followed was just a chat between young women: about tween diaries, hoarding craft supplies, diamond tablecloths, and moving around a lot with pets. Soda was nothing but sweet, funny, and intelligent. Her work is kitschy, fresh and important –  it speaks to a new generation of women who grew up with their lives intensely private in journals, but conversely public in cultivated profiles. Molly’s recent project Should I Send This? In which she self-published her own nudes, was cause for a huge amount of controversy and online vitriol. This was of course, the latest in a long line of Soda’s work to bewilder and anger (often male) critics. But as far as her fans go – we like Molly Soda because she knows us. Her work opens up important dialogues on adolescence, taste cultures, self-expression, and art. She is happy to embarrass herself in ways that we never could, but we feel a connection to her experience because it’s ours. Molly Soda knows what it feels like to wait for a boy to come online, and that’s why she is so popular.


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I’ve a library of diaries that serve to reveal
I’ve always expected more, art and magic
glitter and city skylines to come to me
and so I work, I book plane tickets
hang out in the right London bars
hope I’ll meet all the London stars
but in fields in Los Angeles,
the right broke down home town venue

I found it there

Opportunities and friends to take me
to new places, share their glitter
I don’t mean I deserve more, no
only that I had always wanted
to be near the brightest
and absorb some of their charm
not that I am more deserving
only that I want it all the most

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I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a flower
nor a tree, but I am so inextricably
linked to and affected by environment
by how much water and sun I receive
in the warmest, driest of places
I bloom where others wilt
rain just drowns me, soaks into skin

I’d not hesitate to call myself a cactus
made stronger by desert heat
an evening of rain a month enough
you can find me happiest
up a mountain, by the side of the road
sprouting gladly by the LA freeway

I only ask for 300 sun days
for steadfast friends to give me a drop
I am so linked to my environment
and these wet winters
only serve to make me more prickly

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Where is Fresh Meat?

Originally posted on FEBRUARY FILM AND TV:


For a good three years, Fresh Meat was an autumn staple in my University house. It was absurd bordering on surrealism, and yet was somehow the most perfect (and depressing) summary of how it was to be forced into living with people you don’t actually like that much in mutual poverty. Of course, it followed me through my academic career. Mornings were spent, once a week, recapping on the laughter and how-realistic-was-that of it all. Until last year. We were promised a new season (soon!) and after three years without Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong’s other comedy output, Peep Show, I felt well and truly neglected for something in the media that really understood just how shit everything was.

Until the cast posted photos on Instagram to say they were filming, and that we would be with them once again in autumn. Well, here we are. In the absolute miserable depths of…

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The streets down here are disappearing
and yet nothing is so thoroughly flooded
as my morale, as I miss the desert
counting rainy days down ’til I bloom

The rain has never broken my windows
flooded my garden
nor the winter broken my spirit
and yet every year,
I think it might


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My body has never stopped moving
I tap and fidget and squirm and
my brain runs wildly, a mile a minute
through things I didn’t say – but then
what if I did say the wrong thing?
So I count letters, tiles, pages
and ruminate on the minutiae
do this – even if it hurts
even if people stare, then you can pass
don’t do it – don’t step on the lines
or your house will burn down, your dog dead
touch the floor, shout obscenities in threes
to all unknowing eyes yes, you’re insane
but inside – when you starve
your food cut into seven
you are in control of events uncontrollable
the super clean pristine queen
of an obsessive Kingdom and an unruly mind
a small sacrifice when you’re saving the world
everyone’s fate in your hands
don’t slip up, enjoy life for a second
youre useless when you’re not obsessive
a perfectly perpendicular princess
with black eyes and shattered veins
from fighting fires with crawling skin


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Poetry Collection?

I asked a little while ago but have since gained a few more followers so just thought I’d ask again. I’m putting together a book of poetry – about 30 original poems – with some hand drawn pictures. They would be older poems (in a theme) and some brand new work that I will never publish on here. Would you purchase that? In book or e-book form?

Both will be available, just let me know.

It should be released early next year.


Filed under Poetry