Dear Artists all over. Photographers worldwide. Are you craving recognition? From your peers and the industry?
Feeling the creative Blahs?
My name is Tracy, and every year… every winter… I go through the blah’s. Maybe you do too? Tell me I am NOT ALONE….
- Maybe you look at your work and like it… but don’t LOVE it?
- Maybe you are looking for the SUPPORT of your peers, to see your work and ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on it…. and they rarely, if ever do.
- Maybe you are waiting to be asked to PARTAKE in an event, be a teacher or guide of some sort… and you never are…
I call this is the CURSE OF THE ARTIST.
And a curse that I bear along with each and everyone of you, who feel this same way.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I ask this all the time.
Why do I do this to myself. Belittle myself. Stomp my creative juices and flow, like a smooshed bug.
As artists… we are constantly seeking praise, encouragement, and to be glorified for our work. It makes sense… I mean, we pour our hearts and soul into our art, our photography. And as wonderful as it is to have your clients LOVE your work, what we CRAVE is the attention from our peers.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE FRIEND.
It’s so easy to peek into any social network, and see the artists with thousands… hundreds of thousands… of fans. Our peers are commenting, liking… YOU are commenting, letting them know how much you adore their work!
” Beautiful Work”
And we say to ourselves: I WANT THAT, I CRAVE THAT.
So we get excited, and go to our own pages… THEN…. see our work there…. lifeless. No comments, two likes, and teensy engagements.
We start to criticize our own work. Pick it to pieces. Beating the daylights out of ourselves. And our art.
Wondering: “Why not me? Why is my work not being noticed? It’s not bad work… IS IT? Why am I not good enough for recognition? ”
SO BAD… IT HURTS.
I’m here to tell you two things.
1: You are NOT alone in this feeling
2: You ARE an amazing artist!
As artists, photographers, we have this craving to please. We create art for the simple factor to be pleasing to the eye. YES it makes US happy, but what boosts that happiness is seeing your peers… YOUR FRIENDS… also be pleased by your work.
I think it’s important to remind ourselves that THIS IS ART. Art is what we see, what we create, what we feel. We do not want to be like any other artist. At least I know that I do not… I want to be my own artist.
Unfortuely I have to give myself this pep talk every year. I have to remind myself, after a good pity party, that IT’S OK TO NOT BE A ‘COOL KID’! Not everyone has to like you… or feel the need to comment on your work.
A FEW THINGS I DO TO HELP MYSELF IN THESE TIMES OF DOUBT:
1: UNFOLLOW. Unfollow fellow artists who make you feel bad about yourself. You can go back and check their work, but it won’t be shoved in your face when you open up social networks.
2: TAKE A SOCIAL BREAK. Log out of social networks for a few days, a week. Remove yourself, take a breather… and focus on what makes you happy.
3: EDUCATION. Sign up for a class, or sort of artist education… online or in person, that will maybe give you new skill strengths, or a glimpse at a new style or creative outlet. Build yourself UP, instead of tearing yourself down.
FRIENDS, out there reading this. Be kind to yourself. If you are not asked to partake in an event… or maybe your work is not overflowing with likes and comments… or people are not singing your praises… that does not mean your work is not beautiful. It does not mean that YOU are unworthy.
In fact… it’s kinda awesome to be an underdog. Right?
So keep doing what makes you happy. Keep creating things that give YOU the good feels. STOP LOOKING FOR FEEDBACK AND PRAISE.
And most importantly…
be kind to yourself. Because YOU are an artist, YOUR work is special, and YOU are worthy.
You do you Boo!
And just enjoy the ride.