Teach Your Heresies 7 - Message Memes

Why & How I Make Message Memes

A quick note for the information purists out there ... I'm aware that the term Meme has certain original definitions that may not encompass the texted images that proliferate on social media that I'm addressing here. However, I prefer to use this word in its popular context ... that of an image combined with a brief text that communicates a particular message.

Why memes are important now.

We've been led into an era of information over-abundance that taxes our biological attention spans. I'm not going to make this a bad thing, just something that is. Here and now. And we are remarkably adaptive creatures. So rather than judging it, let's just deal with it and see how we can navigate through this effectively to everyone's benefit.

Truth can handled short attention spans. It simply slips through those slivers of opportunity to light up the Soul of someone resonant. You've felt it many times, I'm sure. You've read (or heard) something that hit you hard enough to make you pause for a time while you absorbed it, re-read it.

However, we not only scan our world for Truth. We scan it for novelty, for shiny baubles that spark our curiosity or humour. We scan it for information that matches our opinions

There are many who take advantage of this for commercial reasons and also for programming reasons. Yeah, programming reasons. Either to stir up discontent or to push a particular narrative ... to capture and herd those who consider themselves rebels and free-thinkers. 

This group is especially vulnerable to manipulation ... you, who consider yourselves rebels and free-thinkers. A lot of energy is expended to herd you in order to contain you. Your loosh is particularly flavoursome.

Slip over and have a quick glance at my Matrix Vendetta post, as one example.

Anyway ... I've gone off topic ... kinda.

I'll wind up this question of why memes are important by saying this ... memes are simply another form, another iteration of an information delivery bundle. One that is prevalent and useful at this time in our cultural history. 

And either be a passive consumer of memes ... or an active maker of memes. 

Like all information delivery bundles, they coalesce to communicate a message, a narrative. 

If you head over to my instagram page, you'll see all my various soapboxes. Take a moment to browse through them to see if you can pick up common threads of my message, and the tapestry they weave together.

Making your message memes is most effective when done consistently over time.

Like little bricks that you build into an alcove of what you stand for, what you fight for, what you live for, and what you would die for.

It's an alcove that others can see. And decide how they feel about what you've put out there ... whether they feel inspired, or threatened, comfortable or ill-at-ease.

Now, truth be told, a lot of the memery is glib and facile spirituality. Sound bites from the Love'n'Light Corporation goddess and her devotees.  

Me? I enjoy working in the shadows and holding the mirror up so that others can see their reflections. 

I have to work hard to make sure I'm not biting and caustic at times. So I put my output through my compassion test. While I'm not interested in being kind and soppy, I am interested in being plain spoken, yet uplifting.  Honesty tinged with hope. 

Because there is no point in adding to the load of worry and fear that people already have to deal with in this world.  

How I make my message memes - process

I use Canva Pro as my platform for this task. It's one of the handful of online tools that I pay for. There's a free version that comes with restrictions, as you'd expect.

However, I'm certain there are similar competitive platforms that you could use as well. 

There may, or may not be a learning curve, depending on your previous experience. I am a primarily a word-person and consider my graphic design skills to be extremely limited.

Which is why I created an easy template for myself to follow.

This isn't meant to be a tutorial because I don't want to put boundaries around your imagination for when you create your own message memes. 

However, I will share with you the various components and their considerations that I take into account when constructing my message memes.

Note: While it's useful for you to have developed your own style sheet that matches your brand, I have found this to be an interactive process that sharpens your branding the more you create. 

Okay, okay ... let's step back a moment here. Style sheet? Brand?

Heh heh ... yeah!

These are covered in more detail in the lesson of Establishing Your Flavour. The term 'branding' sounds too corporate for my taste. Flavour sounds and feels more resonant, in a raw, primal sense. At least to my inner ear.

Anyway ... getting back to the considerations I take into account.

I use the image database within Canva, searching by keywords that align with the message I wish to make. Canva seems to have an arrangement with free image platforms such as Pixabay or Unsplash.

Sure, you can pay for images, or utilise an illustrator. But the less you hook up to paid resources, the longer the longevity of your Soul's mission. This is true whatever your mission's playground. The need for money to support your mission forces you to put money at the centre of your considerations.

Or, if you're a visually creative person and can make your own images to support your mission, that would be incredible! But me ... I'm challenged in that department, so I rely on resources like Canva to aid me in that field.

Anyway, once I've selected my image, I may fiddle with placement and filters so that it complements, or at least doesn't interfere with, the text placement. 

Initially I played around with a few versions of layout that included colour blocks and framed images, but over time I settled into a comfortable arrangement with a full background image and text overlay. You may still see some of my earlier efforts linger in my early IG stash. If I was a pedant purist, I could re-do them, but, meh, I have other priorities that I prefer to commit to.

Tip: Keep your template simple, just to the core essentials. The more complex it is, the more fancy-schmancy you make it, the more distractible it will be for you as you tweak this and tweak that. At least that's it is for me. 

However, whatever the layout, I keep in mind the ease of readability of my message.

Which brings me to my next consideration ...

Text font
Make sure to be consistent with your font. It helps to develop a cohesiveness to all your messages. Don't go changing fonts all the time unless there are other cohesive elements within your message memes.

Again, readability is my main objective when I settled on my message template.

I played various fonts ... rune fonts, script fonts, dramatic fonts. It didn't look good and got in the way of the message I wanted to make. Again ... readability.

So in the end, I selected a straight-forward font that I could tweak a few ways if a variation was necessary, such as italics and bolding. It might look unexciting, but as the memes pile on each other on my IG account, it helps to keep the look cohesive and recognisable as my work. 

Branding Elements
I want my message memes to be distributed. I'm not precious about the bullshit copyright narrative

However, I also want new people to find my lair. 

So on my template, I've ensured that my home lair and a playground lair are displayed. Along with my self-designed visual stamp ... aka logo. 

Ah, yes. The Template. I almost forgot ...

Okay, here's how I did it. 

I chose a nice square blank instagram post template that Canva has built in. Everything I'm going to mention in this section is built in to Canva, so I don't need to mention it every time

Why an instagram post template? Well, I like the visual layout of instagram. Honestly, there's not much else I like about it, but the gallery view is kinda neat. I consider IG to be a holding place for my message memes. However, I use these IG-size images also on my twitter page and on my facebook account, where they render quite well.

Now, moving on ... on this blank, I placed a square image-holder. 

Then I searched for an image to get me started. Something magical or mystical or futuristic or cosmic, 'cos that's my flavour, my brand. 

Yes, I did have a message in mind ... or a selection. So then I played around with adding text.

I also added my lair addresses so people could find me if they were interested. And I added my stamp, the crow and the moon. 

How I make my message memes - content

If you have a point to make, create and post a Message Meme 
It may surprise you, but I can be a snarky contrarian when I see something that ruffles my feathers. 😉  Most often it's in response to what I see floating around social media. 

I'm trying to pull myself back from being that pain-in-the-arse commenter ... you know, the one who undermines the poster's message. I don't always succeed from pulling back. Particularly on those I consider to be the most egregious.  Or I if I know the poster and feel that they should know better.

Sometimes I make the attempt to provide useful supplementary information that expands the post.

How I use my claws on any give post depends on how savage I'm feeling at the time. Well, savage isn't how I'd call it, but I can see how others might. 

Anyway ...

I have found it useful to channel my comments into my message memes. Those points that I wish to make because of the ignorance I've seen or the common misapprehensions people of my interest seem to have. 

I make no secret that I'm very comfortable in the shadows, being the Grey Jedi, the Heresy Priestess. Having spent decades undertaking (!) my own shadow work has helped to make me strong and resilient. Going into my own darkness has helped me to wield swords of light. It's fair to say that I've done the work, and yeah, I kinda enjoy prodding and poking at those who haven't yet appeared to do so. 

Presumptuous, I know. It's a lingering part of my eldest-sister bully programming I was imbued with when I arrived here. I don't want to give it up because I have a lot of fun with it. And that I've learned to sublimate into my message memes.

However, it's not all comment-reactive. 

Often something occurs to me out of the blue, that's insisting on being part of my messages. 

Or I'm reading something and the author might say something quite profound or insightful that needs to be captured and assimilated into my own body of work.

Or it's something that has been a part of my philosophy, my teachings, for so long that I forgot about until something reminded me. 

So ... your turn.

I'm sure you, too, are bursting with your mission messages.

Begin to capture them. Somewhere. Somewhere you remember! 😏 Online, or offline, doesn't matter. 

And begin to play around, back and forth, back and forth.

Truly, I sometimes spend DAYS on developing visual elements for my work, trying to find just the right combination that felt good to my soul. It was fun and I learned a lot about the tools that were available to me. 

But now it's easy for me ... image ...  message ... download to my computer and upload to my social media lairs.

In the end, you should have your own message meme template that you can pump out when you wish. 

Select Image 
Write your Message
Adjust your accent colours, if necessary.
Where people can find you (fixed)
Stamp (Logo) (fixed)

If you don't agree with me, that's totally fine. 
I want you to use my writing as a SPRINGBOARD to recognising and owning your own knowing, which is often buried within us, often rising in reaction.

many of my writings come about as replies to what I read ...
either as agreement or retort or response or just to clarify for what's started swirling around in my head.
Keep a record of these responses.

While I don't open up comments on my posts, I am open to hearing your thoughts.
Feel welcome to email me:
LokaBrenning at gmail dot com

Where to From Here?

Intro - When You Know You Are Special

1      - Overcoming Frustration

2      - My Journey

3      - Your People

4      - Mis-Steps

5      - Late Bloomers

6      - Accelerating Clarity

7      - Message Memes

8      - Holding Power

9      - Higher Power Persona

10    - Establish Your Flavour

11    - Establish Your Command Centre

12    - Messy Creative Process

13    - Not Fame or Money

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