Ok, let me begin this post by saying that it feels very weird to call myself an “artist.” I feel like that word should be reserved for painters, sculptors, people who are classically trained and produce works of art that should be in museums. But, I guess if you think about it…an artist is someone who takes their passion, their eye for beauty, and their desperation to capture feeling and emotion, and turns it into something interesting, beautiful, meaningful, or provoking.
I am not classically trained, and I can’t paint to save my life. But I feel deeply, I express myself in a medium called photography, and I hope that someone, somewhere finds something interesting, beautiful, meaningful, or provoking in my work. So therefore, I will tentatively call myself an “artist.”
So, as an “artist” (even after all that justifying, it still sounds weird), I swing back and forth between complete confidence and paralyzing insecurity. It’s funny…I think it takes both of those things to bring out my best work. If I was completely confident at all times, I wouldn’t push myself, I wouldn’t keep learning, keep stretching my abilities. If I was too insecure at all times, I wouldn’t even pick up my camera for fear of failure. It takes equal parts of both to keep going, keep creating, keep putting myself out there, keep loving what I’m doing.
But some days, the insecurity creeps in. The discouraging words that hover in the back of my mind take hold in my heart.
…Everyone and their mom are starting a photography business these days. With digital cameras so accessible, it doesn’t rquire any real talent to pick up a camera and call yourself a photographer…or worse, an artist…
But then something usually happens on those days when the confidence slips and the insecurity threatens to pour in. Something reminds me that there are kind, encouraging people in this world, who believe in me and believe in what I do. Today, a friend’s words brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. A simple Facebook post from my lovely friend Erin of Photography by Erin reminded me why I do this. Because I love it. Because I’m passionate about it. Because I believe I’m good at it, and that it’s something I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Because it makes me happy.
And the thought that living my passion could encourage someone else to live theirs…well, that’s all the reassurance I need.