Mer Young creates collages to bring people together. Her instagram (@youngmer) is a celebration of indigenous, first nations, native cultures, and natural landscapes in an effort to bring healing to communities who have been marginalized and erased.
And now you can join her mission by remixing her collection of collage templates. Featuring her signature style of using photographs of flora rich with symbolism and the sacred circle, these collages make for the perfect background to share your own message of healing and empowerment. Add your own images, text, or rearrange her elements to create something new and celebrate the land indigenous peoples care for. See the entire collage collection to start remixing! And of course remember to tag @youngmer with your creations to carry the love full circle.
Mer’s stunning designs have led to public art installations throughout Southern California and national and international exhibitions. Through her artwork she brings light and love to traditionally oppressed people while showcasing strength, resilience, and beauty. She explained that she draws her inspiration from original peoples and lands, her ancestors, and all that came before our time.
Inside Mer’s Creative World and Social Media Strategies
Mer is a visual healer, poet, designer, maker, muralist, illustrator, and mama. Her Instagram is a starry universe of archival photography, graphic design work, and powerful messaging. Here she takes time out to share about her creative process, how she uses social media to bring power to more people, and the importance of creating from a place of respect and sensitivity.
How would you describe your style?
My style is inspired by nature, humankind, and all that is. I have been working on collaging different environments; fusing them to make them as natural as possible. My overall goal is to provide meaningful work.
Tell us about your creative process
I do my best to document things that are intriguing with whatever camera that I have on hand, whether that be my SLR camera or the camera on my cell phone. When I am inspired I compile images. I pick and choose the photos that work best with each other and begin collaging them together. There is always a back story to each photo I use. When it comes to colors, I have a mixing wheel that I reference colors with. I always adhere to using colors that complement each other.
For creative inspiration, look to nature. Take walks and see how nature plays a role on its own. The leaves create their own compositions. The petals of a flower hold their own composition. Study what is beside you. The rest will follow.
How do visuals and social media help elevate typically marginalized cultures?
Visuals are so important in the social media realm. I can use the outlet to bring attention to marginalized cultures by creating works that may assist in change—possibly to change those who intend to invalidate, alienate, or disenfranchise. Within this millennial culture, the majority of folks have devices in their hands. What better way to use art than for people to see it and to cause them to move or change in some way?
What are your social media tips for artists?
I would say be genuine in creating and to create everyday or as much as you can. Even if you’re not creating a social media post, be sure to create or draw something in your black book to keep your skills up. Engage with your followers. Ask people who follow you questions and say hello. Be sure to let them know that you are someone beyond that little screen they are holding in their hands.
As for the pieces of mine that get the most engagement on social media, I think it is the designs I have created that have a story or a meaning behind them. People tend to relate and engage more. For instance, I recently created a piece with a grandmother brushing a young girl’s hair and folks responded in the comments with their own, similar experiences.
If creators want to elevate indigenous cultures via social media, research and sensitivity is important. I feel all cultures, and especially indigenous cultures, are complex yet delicate and precious. Be mindful and have deep connection and understanding if you are going to create and share on social media as a means to educate.
This collection is a part of the Spark Style Maker series, where Spark members get exclusive access to unique design ingredients and assets from emerging creatives and tastemakers.