Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Recently there's been a moderate amount of discussion about Peter Lik. Doesn't matter who he is. He sold some pictures for a pile of money recently, or, more precisely, issued a press release stating that he had. The whole thing is a bit sketchy, but whatever. The point is that the man has a moderate degree of success based on some extremely ordinary photographs.

What's the deal with THAT?

Do wish you were a successful photographer, in some sense? Really, whatever sense you want. Are you not successful? I will reveal to you an important secret, the reason, if you will, that you are not successful.

You are lazy.

Peter Lik, a guy whose work I actively detest, is successful. He is successful because he works hard, and has been working hard, for a long long time. He's invested in good quality equipment. He's invested in galleries (he's represented by 14 galleries, all his own!). He's worked hard developing a business, a sales strategy, and a pile of 500px-ready landscape photographs. His business has a burn rate in the 10s of millions, and, one hopes, generates revenues somewhere in the same range.

If you're not successful, it's because you haven't put in enough work, yet. The amount of work required is, unfortunately, open-ended. Still, the odds are excellent that you haven't put in much work at all. Mostly you've spent money on cameras, and you've dorked around a bit trying to "find your style" or whatever. You haven't busted your ass 90 hours a week for even one year, let alone ten.

Art's nice. It's not like technology where there's a market window. You can just keep plugging away at it. With a little luck, and a lot of sweat, you can find whatever success you desire, assuming that you don't die first.

Me? You ask if I am successful? Hell no. I haven't the slightest interest in working that hard. Ugh.

I'm lazy too.


  1. One must work very hard AND be lucky. If you sample the successful photographers, you will indeed find out that they all worked very hard. But sampling only the successful photographers omits the one you worked very hard and never made it to success.

    There are plenty of people who work very, very hard and never make it to success.

    1. I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek! I believe that you will succeed, eventually, if you work very very hard at art, and pay attention. The tongue-in-cheek part is that it might take you 200 years of work. With the obvious problems that implies!