Creative Expression with Omayeli Arenyeka: A Glitch Creator Profile
Omayeli Arenyeka, better known as Yeli, is a creative technologist. From Lagos in Nigeria, she’s currently “playing with data” at the Recurse Center in NYC.
Despite holding a Computer Science degree from NYU and having worked as a Software Engineer at LinkedIn, she doesn’t think of herself as a coder but “more of an artist that uses code as a tool”.
She deploys that tool to explore the intersection of art, design and technology — creating disparate projects that range from Twitter bots to data analysis and visualizations.
Let’s take a look at some of her projects!
A bot that generates awards for everyone. Created as a response to youth-obsessed culture and a societal pressure to accomplish things by a certain age.
It borrows the syntax of the famed Forbes ‘30 under 30’ but lists awards for any age.
A project which analyses your tweets determining whether you’re a tweeter or retweeter. Try it out:
Side Projects as a Creative Outlet
A common thread between these otherwise unrelated projects is creativity. Yeli’s side projects are how she expresses herself creatively. The goal of which is that expression, not necessarily perfection.
“Bypassing perfection allows us to create more”, says Yeli. “The projects we make, whether crappy, riddled with errors, or failures, have the added benefit of teaching us how to make the small fraction of our work that soars.”
For creators, the internet makes it easier than ever to get feedback on your work, to discover exciting new creations and to bring us all together to collaborate. But it’s not without its drawbacks.
Our social media feeds are awash with uninspired, derivative content, slapped together with virality in mind. The modern internet is built upon acquiring “likes”, “followers” and “page views”. Such measures of success hamper creativity. It can lead us to worry about perfecting something before publishing it, or to focus on superficial aesthetics rather than exploring creative ideas or tackling the hard, ugly problems that really need to be solved.
Creativity is fuelled when we can put our egos and insecurities aside and put ourselves out there. Both the design and product decisions we’ve made when building Glitch are in response to, and in furtherance of, the bold step taken by inspiring creators like Yeli to build and share her creations — warts and all — with the world! 💪🏿✨