I change my avatar on Twitter regularly. From a branding point of view, that’s probably not a good idea, but I get tired of seeing myself in my own timeline.
I have a history of various avatars. Sometimes they’re images of me, sometimes they’re related to whatever cause I’m supporting at the moment, and sometimes, like the new one, they speak to my sense of self. Generally, I don’t like photos of myself as an avatar, for a whole tangle of complicated reasons. It’s both too personal and too strongly linked to my offline self, and also too conventionally ‘posed’. And because my Twitter account is about communicating how I feel as much as it expresses my view of the world, I feel uncomfortable with showing myself in that way. A mysterious Twitter handle is a form of self-effacement while oversharing.
Contradictory, I know, but hey.
For my new avatar, I thought I’d offer a version of the original Twitter avatar, the egg. Everyone who first joins Twitter and doesn’t upload an image is represented by an egg (because, of course, they’re not fully-fledged tweeters yet):
To be an egg on Twitter is to signal that you’re not a seasoned user, and that you lack credibility. You never want to be an egg.
So of course, I wanted to play with that notion, and create an egg of my own. Eggs symbolise potential, newness and wholeness; to read an interesting overview of the history of egg as symbol by an archaeologist, click here. This egg is painted in lipstick, of course (even the blue is lipstick, a gift brought from London by a friend ) and then inscribed various messages in and around it. The squiggles allude to the track paths of colliding subatomic particles in particle accelerators; there are also stars and butterflies. The entire image speaks of the concept of a future, and it’s about as different in tonality and intention from the sketch for The Beyondland as it is possible to get.
Yes, it’s a subtweet too, but to tell you more than that would be to share more than I’m willing right now. So for once, I won’t let on, and you’ll have to keep wondering.