finding your voice…

Let me just tell you right now… I haven’t “arrived.”

It am STILL finding my voice in my art and particularly my photography.

 

| It’s a struggle every day. |  

 

I work hard to refine what I know and love all the time and I also try to lean in deeper and deeper into the style and aesthetic where I find the most enjoyment and fulfillment.

To be honest, I am not even sure I will ever really “arrive” per se.  Is that bad? I have no idea. Some artists do “arrive” but maybe I am just kidding myself. As artists we want to.  The more you know and are confident in your “voice” the stronger you can declare it in your artwork with everything we have because it produces an environment less prone to fear.  (I am sure fear still pushes its way in sometimes though)

 

|But that fear though. It’s the real enemy here. |

It kills everything and deflates all the balloons of our past success.   

Its that thing that keeps us from committing and putting 100% of ourselves in that new idea that you just thought of.  Ideas don’t get far when fear has you.  You know what I am talking about.

 

“Photograph what you love” is what people always tell me.   

While I 100% agree, this is so much more complicated than what that statement suggests.  It never is that simple.

A little over a year ago, I got let go from a video marketing team at a software company and I started my own business as freelance colorist.  The beginning of that first year was really fruitful.  I got quite a bit of work and my business grew.  January 2017 hit and work has been incredibly slow since.  Clients I contracted for regularly that first year went months without contact. I had so many jobs fall through.  I got a few new clients, but this year has been tough.  Now I am at that point where I am asking all those questions that are fueled by fear.

“Am I charging too much?…Am I charging not enough?…Is my process not working for my clients?” But the real underlying question here was this…

 

| “Wait… I thought I was pretty good at what I do, but maybe i’m wrong.  Am I?” |

 

Yep, that’s the one and it’s still doing a number on me.

It’s effecting my photography too.  I am not going out to just shoot as much these days because I think that because maybe my work is not as good as thought, I can only make photographs when I am confident they can be at a certain caliber. So then I just don’t go.  

But here is the thing… the phoenix always rises from the ashes of its own death and I know from experience that these tough times usually breed inspiration for me.  I am finding this process takes on a certain rhythm in my life that usually looks like this.  1. Prolific work, high confidence, low fear 2. Road block, shakes confidence, 3. Downward spiral of questions, low confidence 4. I eventually snap out of the spiral and I realize what is happening to me.  5. Feelings inspire meaningful work, refinement of “your voice” (this is where the best exploration of “your voice” happens because those feelings are so close, real, and raw that it forces you to seek the things that that visually resonate with you) 6. Realize I can’t use my voice when fear controls me 6. Suppress fear and make lots of work. Repeat.  Maybe that sounds familiar.

Want some more transparency if you haven’t got enough yet, I’d say I am somewhere between 3-4 right now. Hence this blog post about finding your artistic voice.  It’s happening.  

| Good things ARE coming. |

 

That’s all I have.

 

Cheers folks. 

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