Featured Post

Pinned Post, A Policy Note:

I have made a decision to keep this blog virus free from this point forward, at least until the smoke clears. This is not a judgement about ...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Change Yourself

Let us suppose that you are taking my advice (and indeed the advice of many much more well known artists) and you are Art-ing away with all your might, serving only your own muse. You are making pictures per your personal vision, with all your might. Let's suppose further that you've gotten good enough at this that you are immensely pleased with your pictures. They satisfy you. Even after you put them up on the wall for a few weeks or months, you still love them (that's a stiff and pretty much definitive test).

In short, you are on it, and making the Art you want to make.

One final supposition. You have some need, be it personal or financial, for other people to like your work, and they do not.

The temptation at this point is to change the pictures. Start making them differently, in a more pleasing fashion.

If you do that you're not making your own pictures any more. You're making their pictures, and they can tell. You might be able to walk some line, blending your own vision with crowd-pleasing commodity work, but I am frankly dubious. Based on what I see out there on the webernets, pictures strike me as falling into two boxes, Commodity and Personal.

Thus, I make the following radical suggestion. If people do not like your intensely pleasing, intensely personal work, and if you need them to like it, change yourself. I don't mean psychotherapy, although I suppose that could be part of it. It can be a modest change, altering your personal taste by looking at what people do like and finding things in that stuff to like yourself. The result might be quite similar to simply switching over to making commodity photographs, but it's not quite. You're processing those commodity tropes through yourself, making them personal, taking what you like and what you don't.

An example that comes to mind is a high-end wedding photographer whose name I forget. He shoots a sort of voyeuristic, photojournalistic, kind of thing. He shoots the little scenes that take place down low, in the corner, in the room down the hall. He could shoot this a 1000 ways, but he chooses to shoot it in the gauzy pastel look that is the current vogue in wedding photography. I don't know if he simply loves that look, or if he's blending something he does love -- the shooting style -- with something he found to like about commodity wedding photos -- the gauzy look. Let us suppose, though, that he did. However it occurred, it's working pretty well for him.

Perhaps it can work for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment