Help Me Choose My Avatar or How NOT To Choose An Avatar
Time For a Change
I'm asking for your help here. Here's how it started. I wrote the article, What is a Metrosexual and How Not to Be One, and some fellow writers gave me some friendly jabs about my avatar, saying that I, yours truly, looked like a metrosexual. Well I laughed and laughed. "Ha, ha," I said. But there was a little seed planted deep in the mysterious recesses of my mind. It was a demon seed. The evil seed grew and I began to question my choice in avatars. Do other people think I'm a metrosexual? Do they think my avatar looks...well...queer? As in strange? See it up there? It is a little dandyish.
I'm pretty comfortable in my skin these days and I got over it. But then something strange happened. I listed several of my articles on Stumbleupon, and their computers pick which picture from the article it will display next to the article title on their site. Normally, it is always the first picture in the article, and so it was for me. Except for one. Next to my article about metrosexuals, guess which picture their computer chose to illustrate the article? Go ahead, guess? Yea! It chose MY picture! The picture of ME! Oh, man! When the computers start sticking it to you it's time to do something about it.
So here I am. I want you to help me choose my avatar. To make it interesting, I agree to use whichever avatar you select for at least one week. I've included some that would be painfully embarrassing, some that are funny, some that are gross, and some that are OK. The question is, do you want to help me or do you want to stick it to me? The polls will remain open until 6.00 PM, central time, Tuesday, October 14th, at which time I will change my avatar and leave it on until at least 6.00 PM, October 21st (voting is over). I have used some avatars from hubpages for inspiration, not considering what the authors write or post, political affiliations, or anything else. Let's get started. You already have two choices: Stay with the ORIGINAL or use the one with the ARROWS IN MY HEAD.
Patti Inglish, MS & Michele Engholm
We might as well start here since Patty Inglish is the first woman I see every morning. Her avatar, I mean. It's eye-catching and usually in the number 1 spot. It makes you wonder about this person standing before a world globe. Evil nemeses of Bond? Nuclear physicist? Whatever she is, her avatar looks athoritative. Not to be outdone on the color wheel is Michele Engholm. I really like this picture and the color. These two ladies even have very similar names. Coincidence?
Graphically, mine is similar with bright colors, plus it gets that animal avatar thing going, which lots of people use. I've owned two Dalmatians in my life, so that's working for me too. It's an eye-catcher but does it alienate people who don't like dogs? Where's the fire? We'll call this one THE FIRE DOG.
Use a Childhood Picture
That's what pgrundy does and if it's good for her it's good for me. A childhood picture invokes a sense of personal history, and a sense of human provenance. It also invokes a sense of nostalgia in the viewer as they recall their own childhood and the path their life has taken. A childhood photograph is like a time capsule, evoking a simpler way of life and a reminder of the human march forever onward.
This is my baby picture. It was taken by the good doctors at the mayo clinic. I lived there the first few years of my life but I was never really sure why. I don't recall very much about those early years, truthfully. I do remember that I got to play in a great big bubble every day. It was clear I would be famous. Everyday the photographers came and took pictures of me, "So the rest of the world can see this amazing child," they said. And then there was my friend, Mr. Ripley. He used to say to everyone who would listen, "I can't believe it. I can't believe it." The ladies in their starched white uniforms - so many ladies - coo-cooed over me as they fed me my spaceman food in a bag, all the while calling me "their little sputnik." Ah....good times. On the poll, look for BABY FACE.
barranca & Marian Swift
The Great Outdoors
Many people choose a scene from nature. This invokes a sense of travel and adventure, or perhaps peace and tranquility. Barranca has a nice colorful picture of the outdoors that looks like a place I'd like to visit, while Marian Swift's invokes a mysterious island that we can only spy on from behind the trees. Does she live there, I wonder?
This is a watercolor I did of a place I've never seen, but I'd bet there are many similar scenes in Europe - England, France, Scotland - and my homeland, Ireland. It's amateurish, but I was new to landscapes and so I like it never-the-less. I will visit Ireland some day. Let's call this one STONE BRIDGE.
Ok. B.T. Evilpants. What can I say? He's a jackalope. He looks like a rabbit with antlers, but he's running for president, runs his own multi-million dollar company, and fights with bears. This shot can appeal both to animal lovers and hunters. It's uniqueness unmistakably identifies the writer, and that is very important. "Oh, yea, it's the jackalope guy." Instantly readers know who the writer is and what style of writing they're likely to find once they get there. There are no other avatars like this one on the site. At least, not until now...maybe. It's up to you.
Another little known and misunderstood animal is the Stooges Squirrel. That's Moe, Larry, and Curly from left to right. They are inseparable and like to eat a variety of soups, roasted turkeys, and anything that stretches. As for habitat, they can often be found working as painters, plumbers, and waiters at fancy parties. Occaisionally, they also masquerade as doctors. An ideal place to find them is near any office of the law firm of "Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe. Their favorite hobby is investigating haunted houses. Call this one THREE HEADED SQUIRREL.
Shadesbreath & Spryte
Simple black and white drawings can be very effective. Cases in point: Shadesbreath and Spryte. Their avatars say a lot more about these excellent writers than first meets the eye. Once you get to know them and read a few of their great hubs, you start to realize just how much the avatars say about them, not only their personalities, but their writing styles as well.
Here's the one I came up with for me. It appeals to me in some unidentifiable way. Does it say more about me than meets the eye? Does it match my style? I don't know. I mean, it does to me, but does it to anyone else. You tell me by either voting for it or not. Let's say it's named CARTOON CHRIS.
Princessa & mistyhorizon2003
Some people use a picture that shows the charms of their sex. Maybe it's wearing something sexy or lying languidly on a sofa. Meet princessa and mistyhorizon2003. I don't know how ladies feel about it but it sure gets the guys attention, and that's what it's about. Yes? Lure 'em in and then deliver the knockout punch.
Hey, if gals can do it why not a guy. I don't really have any like theirs (thank god) but I do have this shot from A Streetcar Named Desire. That's me taking Blanche Dubois into the boudoir. She always HAS depended on the kindness of strangers. This is the chance for all you haters out there to stick it to me. This would be embarrassing, but a deal is a deal. Call it HUNKA-HUNKA-BURNIN-LOVE.
Rhym O'Reison & Kika Rose
Many people choose a snapshot, sometimes candid, sometimes posed. This let's the reader see the real person behind the hubs. It puts the writer on a personal level with their readers. "Rhym O'Reison and Kika Rose employ this method. It says to the reader, "we are the same, you and I. Now get your butt in here and read with me. Come on, it'll be fun!" They are fun, and these avatars work very well for them.
Here is my snapshot. As you can see, I recovered perfectly from my early days at the Mayo Clinic. This snapshot of me says, "Hey, baby. What's shakin'? Whatta ya' say we hit the town, you and I? I'll show you the time of your life." I'd hate for you to choose this one. It seems so...egotistical. I'm known as a ladies man and I try not to show off in front of the fellas. Can I help it that women are drawn to my magnetic charms? Call this one MR. MAGOO.
Anna Marie Bowman & Bard of Ely
Anna Marie Bowman and Bard of Ely go with the painting/drawing avatar. They are artistic representations of the writers themselves. These can utilize any artistic style from realism to impressionism. The area of fine art avatars is wide open for conveying a variety of moods and feelings. You might have the serious writer look or the look of a whimsical character. And you can tailor your painting/drawing to fit your personality or writing style.
This started as a photo of me playing the guitar and singing, and then drawn in pencil when I was teaching myself to draw a long time ago. Then I manipulated it in a graphics program. Rather than singing, It looks more like I'm getting my fingers slammed in a car door, but, c'est la vie. I hope that it creates a sense of drama while raising the interest of the potential reader. In any case, it's all me. This one is FINGERS IN DOOR
Countrywomen, Shinujohn, Weblog, Shalini
Beautiful Indian Girls
There are several beautiful Indian Girl avatars being used here at hubpages. I had no idea that all the women in India were this good looking. Well, either that or just the pretty ones all got together and decided they were all going to write for hubpages. Or maybe they all decided to sign up independently of each other and hubpages is famous in India as an ideal forum for Indian issues and all things Indian. I am so thankful they chose this site to publish their work. Just looking at their pictures makes me feel all goofy in love. Any one of these gals can charm my snake anytime, by Krishna.
So why can't I be a beautiful Indian woman? No reason. That's the beauty of the Internet. Nobody has to know I'm a guy hiding back here. I mean, if it brings in readers, then that's a good thing, right? You can be anyone you want to be, with a new personality, a new life, a new attitude. You can achieve things you previously considered impossible. Never mind that this person and their intricate history you have created only exists in your head. The important thing is can you get everyone else to believe it? Before you know it you'll believe it yourself, and your new persona will fit you like a well-worn pair of fleece-lined gloves. Equally unimportant is the fact that I would actually be a man behind the sari. Remember, you can be anyone! Only you'll know and I'll know, but don't tell anybody, and if you do, I'll deny, deny, deny. My red dot is bigger than yours. This one's BEAUTIFUL INDIAN WOMAN.
And the Last Two Are...
Crack & Creepy
Ok. I have nothing to say about this one and there aren't any similar to compare it to. It speaks for itself. It speaks loudly. This is another opportunity for anyone out there to make me suffer. Obviously, it's not me...or is it? That's the beauty of the Internet, see. I could be this guy who's trying to pass himself off as some two-bit actor. Nobody knows for sure. If you want this one, vote for BUTT ON A BENCH.
And finally, yikes! This one creeps me out. I literally have a tough time looking at it. That could be bad for getting people to my hubs, but on the other hand, people aren't likely to forget it. Plus it could attract the morbidly curious in droves, like slowing down to look at a car wreck. Vote for this one under the name STRETCH FACE.
PLEASE take a minute to vote. Remember the polls close at 6:00 PM, Oct. 14th (voting is over). The avatar receiving the most votes will be used until 6:00 PM, Oct. 21st. Thank you for your help!