You may have seen her Instagram filters on Dua Lipa and Jennie. You may have even used one of hers yourself.
Love them or hate them, filters are central to the system of social media. Almost every app, site, and platform has its own set of filters. On Instagram, there are thousands of filters to choose from. So, what happens when the Instagram filters you make go viral and are used by international celebrities, generating possibly billions of impressions? That is the situation Angela, or more commonly known as lazy777 on Instagram, is currently in. What started out as a simple endeavor in May 2020 turned into something bigger than even she could have imagined. Angela sat down for an interview with NYLON Manila to talk about her Instagram filters, her unexpected success, and much more.
Angela started making filters in just under a year, but has been using them for even longer. “I’ve always loved using filters on Instagram ever since they came out because I found them really cool and different.” Her exploration of using filters led her to decide to make her own. “I realized that it would be so fun to make my own because I could decide whatever I wanted to put in them. The possibilities were endless,” she explains.
Angela, a 23-year-old recent Communications graduate, wanted to start making her own filters since she was in college, but was too busy with school work. It was only during the pandemic and quarantine that she found the time to do it and let out her creativity, she tells us.
The urge to create though isn’t something new to her as she has always been a creative person since she was a kid. “I always have random ideas, and I love to create things from my imagination.” As to why she decided to hone her craft in making Instagram filters, she says, “I chose to make filters because I loved to use other creators’ filters, and I realized that it would give me the freedom to do whatever I wanted and whatever I could think of.”
Creative Process And Her Filters
While some people may think that making a filter is an easy thing to do, it is anything but, reveals Angela. “Once something inspires me, I go into a creative bubble and just forget about all my surroundings and work on the filter for an entire day (or more). I test the filter multiple times, adjust and change whatever I need to. Once I’m happy with it, I try to think of a cool name and make a demo video for the filter before I upload it to my account.”
Some of her popular filters include; sad cutie where a pink bandage with hearts and flowers go on the bridge of your nose, demon where it looks like you have two horns on top of your head, you have blood coming out of your nose, one of your eye pupils turns red, and you get this red blush on your cheeks and no sleep where it gives you eye bags underneath your eyes.
Most of her filters are quite varied and that is because her inspirations are wide-ranging. “Things from both Asian and Western culture inspire me, as well as trends and styles in the early 2000s. I take a lot of inspiration from things I’ve been into ever since I was young, like fashion, makeup, magazines, music, art, games, and other kinds of things. Using the internet was something I did a lot growing up, and it shaped me to be the creator I am today. I try to combine these things with the trends of today and make it my own.”
She adds, “My personal style changes often, and I’m always inspired by something new. I love to take risks and explore different things. When I find something that I love, it influences the art I make and my creative process keeps growing and evolving over time.”
So, from the dozens of filters, Angela has made, what is her favorite? “My favorite filters are the ones that have a “creepy cute” vibe like lovesick demon, no sleep, and nosebleed. These are also my favorite ones because they are face filters, and these are the kind of effects that I enjoy making and using the most.” Meanwhile, her demon filter is the one that is most special to her since that was one of her first filters that became popular on Instagram.
7 Billion And Counting
Speaking of becoming popular, Angela’s Instagram filters and her page have grown to be relative overnight successes. Her followers have grown from just a few thousand last year to over 312,000 followers and counting. When we spoke to her, she told us that her filters have received almost 7 billion impressions, a number that has since risen for sure. Celebrities like Noah Cyrus, Rosalia, Bella Hadid, Alexa Demie, Elizabeth Gillies, Emma Chamberlain, Adam Levine, Taeyeon of Girls Generation, Hayley Williams, Addison Rae, Charli XCX, Bretman Rock, and Megan Thee Stallion have all used her filters.
Angela says that she started to notice that her filters were becoming popular when she saw a steady increase in her followers and seeing people from places outside the Philippines using her filters. “One of the first celebrities who used my filter was Dua Lipa. I was happy and shocked at the same time because I actually knew her and listened to her music.” she gushes. Her success with making filters has also led her to make paid customized filters for clients and customers.
To hear it from Angela though, she never expected her filters to blow up on Instagram. “When I started making filters, I never really thought about what was popular or mainstream. I just created what I felt like creating and whatever I knew I would love and would use for myself,” she says. The popularity of her filters though has made her feel happy and validated as she explains, “I remember starting out, I would barely see anybody use my filters at all. So when I started to see more people using them, it made me excited and happy to know that there are people around the world who appreciate my work.”
Until this day though, she still doesn’t know the reason why her filters became so popular. “I just make what comes to my imagination, and what I think looks cool and cute. So, it’s great to see other people like my random ideas.” For her though, she considers a great Instagram filter to be “creative, unique, and well made.”
Plans For The future
Angela has no plans of stopping anytime soon and sees making filters as a full-time job since she has fun doing it and is eager to think of new ideas and express her creativity. And before you say it, no, she is not an Instagram influencer because she herself doesn’t consider herself to be one. But just like most young people in their early 20s, she likes to use her Instagram to express herself share things she enjoys like fashion, hair, and makeup.
To be so young and so successful at this kind of job is something most teens could only dream of and Angela hopes her story will inspire others. “I hope I can somehow inspire others to chase their dreams. Creating filters started as a hobby and something I just wanted to do because I wanted to make fun and unique selfies. I never would have imagined that I would be featured in a magazine or that my work would be recognized by other people, and all the opportunities that were made possible because of doing what I love.”