IN A short workshop I did for Canon last week, one of the attendees asked me if I get jealous or hurt if another photographer makes a beautiful shot. Before I answered the question, I asked her how long has she been shooting. She answered for about a year already. I was never asked this kind of question before. I know my answer, I’m just not sure if it’s the right advice.
I told her that I passed many stages in my photography career and I can still vividly remember each and every major obstacle and challenge I faced from beginning to present. The problem with creatives compared to other professions is that hard work will not give you a pass to success. It can be a factor, yes, but it’s your creativity that will build you up.
When another creative creates something really amazing, my first reaction is always appreciation of the artwork and respect to the creator. Second is, why didn’t I think of it. I understand that counting the success of others will never bring you anywhere, but I also use it to motivate myself to do better.
As a creative, I get hurt a lot especially when your work is criticized or poorly appreciated. Then somebody would advice for you to look at the positive side of the criticism or what good you can get out of it. In my case, I allow myself to get hurt. I allow frustration to doubt my creativity.
When it comes to self-realization as a creative, I don’t sugarcoat or lighten up the situation. I’m always frank with myself. In the end, after all the doubts and frustrations, I choose to move forward and continue to sharpen my tool. I know that the choice is always up to me. How much am I willing to give is what I will expect in return. Breaks are just a form of bonuses.
The life of a creative is always a colorful one. Full of ups and downs. One minute you are all that disappointed, and in a snap of a finger, everything changes with just a simple compliment. Sometimes you’re in a creative drought and sometimes you’re oozing with creativity that you just want to paint the world.
You also get to enjoy many things that most people cannot appreciate because they can’t see it. It can just be as simple as looking at the patterns of tiles and broken by petals of a flower. Sometimes, a warm light that highlights the hair of a lady in a cold morning coffee shop. We experience these pockets of wonderful moments and we just want to freeze that moment and share our little joys through photos.
It’s complicated, and balancing between making sense of what you think is beautiful and looks ordinary to many will define your taste. After all the struggles and finding your space in this world, everything will find its place. Only those who will pursue will have their chance but not all will prevail.
Enjoy the ride and celebrate with the world of creatives. Keep on shooting, everyone!