Tuesday, March 4, 2014

a guest app happy review from my fella: french girls

So it's that time again where I have an idea for a blog...get lazy...then hand the reigns over to someone capable that I trust to do the leg work. [Tangent: Terrible wheelchair pun intended? You decide.] For a couple weeks, I have really been wanting to write an app happy review for the French Girls app, but all of the real estate on my phone is spoken for. Seriously, every last gigabyte is promised to cute pics of my niece or toward building a replica Springfield. [Tangent: How can I not cover this with my blog...just look at the studly bearded ginger logo!]

However, I decided to call upon the person I trust the most, my sweet fella, Jamie. He shares my sense of humor and from his half-assed tumblr,  I know he's brilliant.  And I kind of consider him a selfie expert  [Tangent: Y'all might know I met Jamie due to his selfies. We first crossed paths when I spotted him when commenting on my friends' pictures on the Moustache May website in 2011. He has since springboarded this "talent" into various other photo projects online as well as becoming the mascot for a Nashville's premier fake basketball team. Pretty impressive...for a ginger.]. Thus, he is the ideal French Girls candidate. One might think this makes him a vain prick, but truthfully he just plays one on the Internet...it's his creative outlet and he's probably the most unassuming human on planet earth

...so take it away, boo!

Recently on Instagram, a couple of my fellow former facial hair growers began posting some pics that immediately drew me in. Sure, they were basically just your typical Insta-selfie, but these came with a special bonus feature. They were accompanied by an artist's rendering of the photo in a handy split-screen layout! Whuuuuut?!?! The banner on these photos informed me that they weren't the result of some sort of iPhone voodoo, but were the product of an anonymous photo sketching app called French Girls. Naturally, I immediately headed to the app store to see what this was all about. I am now slightly obsessed.

I've never seen Titanic (no spoilers, please!), but I find the idea of having someone draw me like one of their French girls more than just slightly intriguing. Here's how it works: First open the app and switch to the camera function. Then, just take a selfie and post it once you're happy with it (there is no option to import, so all pics must be taken in-app).

Once your pic is added to the pool, just sit back and wait for an alert that you've been drawn. With the heavy flow of pics on the app, you may or may not receive a pic back. If you haven't received a sketch back in about 20-30 minutes, you probably won't. Just keep taking more pics. You'll likely be sketched soon. I've found that my pics are more likely to be drawn if I'm doing something more interesting than taking a standard selfie. I suggest using weird accessories, props, or poses to get your photo noticed more easily.

For the more artistic types, you may be more inclined to draw than to BE drawn. To live out your fantasy of being an amateur police sketch artist, just click the pencil. This takes you to the photo pool. Click the arrow to flip through the photos until you find your muse. Though not very frequently, you WILL stumble across some T and A...and sometimes some V...and definitely some D and B's, so be warned if that's not the sort of thing you're into.

Once you've chosen your subject, click the pencil to begin creating your masterpiece. If you ever played Draw Something back when it was a thing (is it still a thing?), you should be familiar with the basic layout here. Two color packs can be downloaded for free upon opening, while add-on packs/effects will cost 99 cents a pop. Once you've completed your portrait, submit your drawing and a message will be sent to the stranger you just drew.

Of course, not everyone is artistically inclined and this is obvious when scrolling through the gallery. Since all drawings are anonymous, many people abuse their untraceable status to write rather hateful things about people's photos. Some people are incredibly judgmental. Some are just flat out racist. Others never miss their opportunity to draw a big ol' donger. Then there are those who just write their phone numbers, Kik/Snapchat handles, and email addresses in hopes of receiving scandalous photos of the afformentioned T/A/V/D/Bs. This has made me start to consider getting a Snapchat account just to see how many people actually send photos to a total stranger. I would like to turn French Girls from a photo app into a social experiment.

there are A LOT of these.
 There are other social aspects to this app, too. If you're not in the mood to draw or take photos of yourself, simply pull up the photo pool and scroll through. I often do this to wind down before bed. (Once you're done browsing, just select a photo to draw, then trash it before you start drawing. This will take you back to the main gallery, since there is no home button.) It's interesting to pick out certain trends amongst these photos. 
For example;
  • How many lip/nose rings will I see? 
  • How many people are still doing the duckface/peace sign combo in 2014? 
  • How many teenagers will I see in that same Nirvana shirt from Target? 
Since this is a popular app worldwide, you can also spot certain international trends. I like to pay attention to the language on shirts and posters to see which countries tend to post at particular times of the day, and trying to see what fashion trends and photo techniques are popular amongst certain groups of people. It's like the timeless art of people watching on a global scale, but you never even have to get out of bed!

In the grand scheme of things, I'd say that French Girls is a top notch time waster. All of the juvenile scribbles and possibility of personal judgment are worth it once you get back a quality sketch of yourself, compliments of a total stranger from the other side of the globe.

I bet this guy was super annoyingly good at draw something.
 Sometimes I wish I knew who drew me, so I could personally praise them or go check out their other work. So, for you folks who have drawn me as a flower, a weird bunny man, or a set of Russian stacking dolls.....THANK YOU.....and to the young shirtless fellow holding up his Instagram name on a sheet of paper.....sorry I responded with a drawing of the Instagram logo that said "#nobodycares".


  1. yeah i love drawing on this app. but, so do photos get put up for people to draw more than once? like you have 4 drawings of the cat for instance.

  2. yeah! Different people can draw the same picture but it only gets posted the one time...but if multiple people like it and want to attempt drawing it...they can.


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