It seems I’ve hit an odd point in my artistic life. After completing two 365 projects, I feel well versed in regularly producing work and publishing online. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many incredible artists and watch them grow.
Originally, many of these artists published their work on Flickr. Which is where I interacted with them almost exclusively until 2012. There was a shift in the website and many artists abandoned Flickr. Instead, we decided to add each other on Facebook.
Our interactions changed from being about photography. On Facebook, we got to see one another’s daily life. I absolutely loved this. Instead of only getting to see the art, we suddenly got to see the entire person. A person who went out and took pictures with friends, who wrote statuses about their struggles, and who communicated to the world in a different way.
It was an excellent experience to get to know these artists in a more dynamic way.
As time went on, a divide started to occur. Artists who pursued their craft full time produced large amounts of work. I watched many of my friends achieve success at this time. Those who went to school or who focused on their careers seemed to disappear, occasionally producing art. These two groups of artists – the ones who created regularly and those that created semi-regularly, dominated my NewsFeed.
Most of my “real life” friends were unfollowed or pushed out by these media monster-houses. Their work was initially inspiring. I wanted to go out and produce art and share it with them. Over time, these contacts grew out of touch. I started working full-time and lost contact with them for a few months. I became one of the artists who posted rarely.
Most of my artist friends continued to post work more regularly than me and grew in popularity. I watched their work go from having 10 likes to 200 to 600 on every post. I was proud of them. Many of them went freelance and started building clientele. It shocks me how many of my friends got into wedding photography.
The popularity felt like it created a divide from the little leaguers like me. I wanted to initiate conversations but I didn’t know what to talk to them about. They felt too important to talk to. I felt like I was wasting their time if I had casual conversations with them.
Somewhere along the lines, I lost contact with my “real life” friends. My entire NewsFeed was made up of artists until last night. I went through and refollowed my friends. I felt frozen and unable to share my work. Constantly seeing such beautiful and perfect work made sharing my own work feel daunting.
I know it’s a personal problem. Oh boo hoo, you don’t feel good enough. But I’m writing this to address it in myself. I need to overcome the anxiety I have about sharing imperfect work. Blogging is part of that. God I know that these posts are long and boring but I’m working on it.
It’s just so hard to share when I know great writers. It’s hard to share my travel photography when I know great travel photographers. Why would anyone look at my work when there’s already so many fantastic artists out there? Want a great conceptual fine artist? I know twenty of them. Want a great blogger? I know three. It’s hard to produce work when you don’t feel any demand for you to do it.
At this point, I’m producing work for myself. I want to share. This is imperfect, it’s flawed. I’ve written too much on a niche subject. Very few people will relate to what I’m writing. But I feel compelled to produce it anyways. Maybe that all I need for now.
In other news, I’m thinking about participating in Blogtober. It’s only 31 days and it could be a breath of fresh air. Heck, maybe I’ll invite Tabitha. It’ll be a party!