If you're anything like me then you have difficulty regarding your work with value or self respect. I have trouble giving myself credit for my creative work. Give me a compliment and I will surely deflect it - not out of insincere humility - but from a genuine lack of self regard when it comes to my creative work. Everywhere I look I find artists and creators who amaze me with their talent. Instagram provides a flood of inspiration but can also be a source of discouragement. Don't be discouraged! I've learned that I have to STOP comparing and start to focus on pursuing art because the act of making brings me joy. The more I read, and study, the more I realize that most artists suffer from chronic self doubt. The key is to continue working and persevere through the unceasing fear. One of my favorite books is by Elizabeth Gilbert - in her book Big Magic Gilbert writes "Perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it's terrified".
That visual of "fear in a mink coat" resonates so intensely with me. Fear will always be with me when I work. As much as I would like to ignore the reactions of others I find I can never totally tune out the still voice in my mind which questions "what will people think of this?" or " is this just too weird?". I always embrace the weird. For me the stranger and more unusual the piece the more inclined I am to like it. I am attracted to anything that I have not seen before. While in school (Clark University Class of 2018 at age 59) I often presented work that I loved which would be considered not "real photography" but often times those super weird photoshopped pieces were the pieces I was most drawn to.
Now that I have graduated and I continue to persevere on my own I continually try to encourage myself to color outside of the lines. Pursue an avenue of work that makes me smile and brings me joy. The photographs you find under the heading WILD THINGS are those photographs that most resonate with my vision and heart. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert - "FEAR IS BORING" and so I encourage you to travel forward with courage.