Three weeks of inconsistent sleep and kitten feedings every 4-5 hours have left me little ability to piece together coherent sentences, let alone a cohesive post. But I finally had a chance to recharge a bit last night. Here are some thoughts that came up this morning.
I spend much of my time perusing the work of other artists online, admiring, learning, and discovering, but sometimes I get intimidated by the sheer level of vision, brilliance, and technique displayed by these folks. Sometimes I wonder if it even makes sense for me to step into the world with my art. Is my stuff good enough? Do I have enough creative vision and talent to stand out at all?
When I start thinking these things, I stop myself and remind myself that everyone starts with their vision and talent and nothing else. That it is what these people did with those qualities that got them out there. They learned technique. I have to believe that my vision and talent are unique enough that it is worth taking a chance on becoming one of those people of which I am currently in awe. Otherwise, I need to put my camera and computer and tablet away now, be done with my artistic explorations, and settle in for a nice career programming databases. That sounds harsh, but I think some extreme thinking is occasionally good for the soul.
I have to believe that my vision of the world is unique. It’s mine, and no one else sees what or how I see. We may look at something and agree on what it is and that it is beautiful or not, but how I interpret that moment and the light captured by my eye, and how I blend that with everything else I have experienced and store it in my mind…that is uniquely mine. That is what I remind myself of when I question the sanity of focusing on my artistry.
How do I move forward, then? For starters, allow myself to explore my vision of the world. Take the photograph that makes no sense to anyone but me, write the song that resonates in my soul but inspires cringes in the other person in the room. Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe what I see or hear or feel will resonate with another person. I believe that no matter what I create or desire or feel, there is someone out there that shares these ideas. They are not me, but we can connect on some level. Hopefully our paths intersect at some point in time, so that we can enjoy mutual resonance.
So maybe I create for an audience of one, myself, and hope for an audience of two, for someone else who looks at my photographs or hears my songs and experiences that same “wow” that I do. I live for that. I search for the “wow” in everything I do. But I have not always believed that anyone else would get that in the same way. And maybe no one ever does. Maybe we can only experience enough similarities to be able to collectively resonate and enjoy, and perhaps that is enough.
It is vitally important that I explore my vision, that I work with my talent, that I push my technique. It is important for a life lived fully in the amazing thing that is me. And it is this unique collection of vision, talent, technique, and experience that defines me and my work. That is the thing that will give me a shot at standing out in the world of so many amazing creators. I may not be anyone’s definition of the best, but I will be a unique presence among the best.
I choose to believe in my vision and to explore it in whatever form it expresses itself. That as my body of work grows, so will my understanding of myself. That as I continue to push out into the world, someone will see my work and find themselves resonating along with me.
I have found myself wrestling with the ideas in this post at many points in my life, and many times I have attempted to capture them on paper. If some of this resonates with you, tell me about it in the comments. Then we can resonate together.
Thanks for reading,