Groundcore is an aesthetic that was initially inspired by the idea of being a bug or (approximately) bug-sized in a human-inhabited world, seeing the world from a bug's perspective.
Though not strictly warm and vibrant, Groundcore is generally associated with themes of summer, bright colors, exploration, creativity, being observant and curious, thinking outside the box, as well as the study of and general love for insects, plants and nature as a whole.
While often overlapping with aesthetics such as Naturecore or Adventurecore, Groundcore illustrates an overall more crafty, lighthearted and fantastical, in some cases childlike side to the beloved nature aesthetic genre, while still including similar themes.
Bugs and Insects, while not necessarily being the main focus of Groundcore (see: Bugcore), do play a big role in real-world depictions of the aesthetic by bringing it to life and allowing it to somewhat branch out in other directions and expand upon itself in many different ways, such as in movies or media, exploring the concept of a bug's adventures or day-to-day life.
Note that while Groundcore is, as said above, often depicted to heavily lean towards a warm/summery nature feel, other themes and elements are not to be entirely excluded from the aesthetic, at times even presenting an additional subsection of it altogether, (i.e., a currently undefined but perfectly valid concept of 'winter-themed Groundcore' with its own set of visuals).
Due to this, Groundcore may be better thought of as a somewhat broad umbrella term, which is mostly up to the viewer's interpretation, rather than a strictly defined aesthetic.
Keep in mind that, while garbage/litter is considered to be one of Groundcore's main components, the aesthetic is in no way meant to encourage or promote littering, but instead aims to introduce creative ways of recycling preexisting trash.
Groundcore visuals may vary depending on the setting, exact time of day/year and/or place, but the most generally recognized ones include:
- Grass and greenery
- Flowers and plants
- Fungi and mold
- Moss and lichen
- Trees, bushes, roots and twigs
- Dirt, sand, rocks, pebbles, etc.
- Small caves/underground tunnels
- Backyard ponds or puddles
- Dewdrops, mud or frost
- Asphalt or rocky pathways
- Common household items (E.g. Stationary, kitchen utensils, decorations, jewellery, etc.)
- Natural trash (E.g. Apple cores, old leaves, broken branches, dried grass, etc.)
- Lost things, litter or throwaway items (E.g. Bottle caps, buttons, food wrappers, bolts, soda cans, small toys, etc.)
- Insects and small creatures (E.g. Snails, spiders, bees, ladybugs, flies, rats, birds, household pets, etc.)
Themes (not to be confused with visuals), in this case, is a general term that is used to provide both real-life and fantasy examples of Groundcore's main characteristics and the use of this aesthetic in media.
- Normal objects or scenes being seen and percieved in macro
- Golden hour, early mornings, warm sunlight
- Things being covered with rust, moss or dirt
- Everything "glowing" a warm yellow-green color due to the light passing through grass and leaves
- Normal objects or creatures being purposefully or accidentally shrunk to a much smaller size
- Being vulnerable to otherwise non-harmful everyday things/events (E.g. A drop of water falling on you, wind blowing in your direction, getting stuck on a piece of tape, etc.)
- Tiny passageways, hangout areas and shelters that are unnoticed by typical-sized people (E.g. A crack between the rocks, a tiny hole in the wall, a small tunnel within a mechanism, etc.)
- Clothes, fancy gadgets, buildings and everyday items being crafted from little bits of natural materials or repurposed human things (E.g. An acorn hat, a billboard made of twigs, a leaf hammock, etc.)
- Buglike qualities or behaviors, sometimes but not always mixed with human ones
- Atypical communication or interaction with insects and commonly found small creatures (E.g. Riding an ant, fighting a mosquito, flying up high with a ladybug, befriending a rat, etc.)
- The use of almost exclusively centimeters, grams, etc as measurements, rather than meters, kilograms, etc.
- The use of otherwise small, unimportant objects as landmarks (E.g. "I'm over here by the old juice box", etc.)
- Being able to climb into and see the innerworkings of small human-made machines, as well as other highly inacessible areas
- Human houses, hangout areas, pets or tools feeling mysterious/foreign/frightening, or the opposite - nostalgic/familiar/comforting
- A single abandoned or infrequently used structure being made into shelter/general living for entire bug/tiny creature communities
- Being generally afraid of or having a reason to avoid/never be seen by people at all cost or alternatively, trying to be noticed and seeking help from humans
- Having to find nonstandard, often more complicated solution to otherwise simple human tasks/problems (E.g. pushing a button, turning on the tap, kicking a toy ball, moving a small jar out of the way, etc.)
- Taking walks in nature
- Playing in a backyard
- Collecting things found on the ground (E.g. Bottle caps, buttons, rocks, pieces of glass, bolts, small toys, etc.)
- Making crafts with litter or throwaway items
- Making crafts with found natural material
- Using a metal detector or other gadgets to search for "treasures"
- Laying on grass or sitting on/under a tree
- Owning or regularly taking care of plants
- Searching for bugs or bugwatching
- Caring for or saving bugs and insects (E.g. Taking a snail away from the road, bringing spiders outside instead of killing them, feeding ants, etc.)
- Owning a pet bug
- Making flowercrowns
- Picking berries or wild fruit
- Sunbathing in nature
- Mushroom hunting
Groundcore's fashion mainly centers around combining a fun, casual, childlike style with maximum functionality and comfortability, as to provide the best experience while out adventuring or digging around in the backyard. Examples of this include but are not limited to:
- Tank tops
- Kids printed T-shirts
- Cargo shorts
- Fingerless gloves
- Colorful bracelets
- Fanny packs
- Mismatched socks
- Selfmade acessories
Since Groundcore is not considered to have a separate music style or genre and is extremely hard to accurately pin down due to its novelty and subjective nature, it mainly relies on the overall feel of songs (typically carefree, cheerful, somewhat magical and/or childlike), as well as matching lyrical themes in its representation. Some examples of this are:
- Buggin - Mob Rich
- Dent In The Moon - Watsky
- Opening - Sawyer Nunes
- Boys Will Be Bugs - Cavetown
Elements of Groundcore can be found in countless pieces of media, ranging from children's cartoons to famous films and games, making it impossible to list them all. Some of the best examples of Groundcore in media include:
- Grounded (2020 Windows/Xbox game)
- Mushroom Men (2008 Wii/Nintendo DS game)
- Metamorphosis (2020 PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch game)
- Bugsnax (2020 Windows/macOS/PS4/PS5 game)
- Yoku's Island Express (2018 Nintendo Switch/Windows/PS4/Xbox One game)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989 film)
- A Bug's Life (1998 film)
- Ant Bully (2006 film)
- Arthur and the Invisibles (2006 film)
- Minuscule (2006 –2012 TV series)
- Bee Movie (2007 film)
- Antz (1998 film)
- Maya the Bee (2012-2017 Cartoon/TV series)
- The Hive (2010-2012 Cartoon/TV series)
- Larva (2011-2019 Cartoon/TV series)