User Icons

User Icons

The Online Space

The internet is a treasure trove of information, there is so much potential to better cater to your customers or find that untapped market. We build and populate the internet with our content, and in turn the internet changes us.

We’re far from understanding the implications all this access to information, and each other, has on us. It’s interested me into looking at the different aspects of how we as people engage with the internet.

The Avatar

Several years ago I made a simple illustration to represent a user for a project I was working on. Over time I’ve repurposed this illustration when presenting different work that surrounded people; data collection, marketing analytics and social media.

Whilst many people consider the internet a way to express and explore their individuality, what happens more often is that we become a simplified version of ourselves that fit into different boxes.

User Icon Tina Belcher
User Icon World of Warcraft Bloodelf Priest
User Icon Tinkerbell
User Icon Karl Lagerfeld
User Icon Twitch Girl
User Icon K-DA Evelynn
User Icon Malala Yousafzai
User Icon Frida Kahlo
User Icon Overwatch Mercy
User Icon Beyoncé
User Icon Twitch Streamer Lillyvanilly
User Icon Apex Legends Lifeline

The Persona

We also create our own personas. Regardless if we use our own photos and identity, or use a cat as our avatar and create fantastical fictional personalities, we are the curators of how we see ourselves online.

We may change more today, and faster, due to the ease of which new ideas can find, and how popular some cultures appear on the internet. I’m just a girl from a small town, I was always the odd one with interests nobody cared about, but nowadays I can just connect to Reddit and be validated for almost anything.

Someone once told me that we have different friendships to nurture different aspects of ourselves. I see similar behavior online, including in myself. There’s my professional self on LinkedIn, my private self on message boards and my love for gaming in gaming communities, just to name a few.

None of these personas encompass the complexity of what make me who I am, but they each serve a different side of me, and get to see a different side of me. 

This has grown into a small series of illustrations which take the same original illustration I made, to visualize different personas of myself. To be clear, I don’t see myself as a system, but there’s a certain way I explore different aspects of myself differently, and I wanted to give those a red thread to connect them visually, in cute, simple illustrations.

swimming pool color


Another variation to the User Icon, was inspired by work by photographer Mária Švarbová from her “Swimming Pool” series.

It taps into this idea of “remixing”, how the internet has made finding inspiration easier, but also ignited a passionate conversation about copyright, copying, and outright stealing art work as prints on merchandise. 

We’re often encouraged to share our work online, but how can you protect it? There’s great value in sharing idea, working together to make beautiful things, but how can we ensure that artists don’t lose the ability to make a living.

This series is a part of something so much bigger than me, but I think it has a lot of potential for creative exploration, and I hope to build upon this in the future.

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