Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Walk softly and show up

I was recently invited to submit work to the jury for the Art In The Burbs art show.  Being sought out and asked to submit work to a show is a nice feeling and validates that some of my hard work at my craft is paying off. I did not seek out this invite, but it came to my un-solicited and caught me by surprise.   

Instead of "pushing" my work on folks, I'm more the type of person who would rather be quiet and hopefully be noticed for my efforts.  In this relentless marketing-driven society I know that's not a good position to take...there is so much "noise" that is assaulting us every day and it's so hard to get noticed.    However, I have this belief/hope that quality will rise up above the noise and eventually get noticed.  Instead of a constant push, I just need to focus on my craft and then "show up" to certain events to display my work.  Eventually (it is my hope) that opportunities will come my way.  

I have lived my life with a certain belief that many things happen organically and in their own time, when they are ready to happen.  I won't call it kharma or fate.  There is too much baggage with those words.  To be honest, I don't have a good word for this concept.  I can describe the basics of what I think, but I can't describe how it works or why.  Perhaps that's for a theologian or philosopher to describe (lol)   

As much as we in our modern society don't admit it or talk about it, we are still biological creatures, natural entities and as such are still connected and governed to the natural world around us.  The forces that affect the tides also affect us.  The forces that shape weather also shape us.  It's natural and no amount of intellect or affluence can change that.  As a natural creature, I believe that we humans also go through natural rhythms and cycles, as any self contained eco-system would.  Many people don't sense or acknowledge these cycles in themselves, yet they know something is "not right" and try to compensate for it with any of the "quick remedies" we can buy at the local store or the doctor.  In my life I try to embrace my "cycles" and not force myself out of them, but let them run their course in their own time. It's a natural process and one that I choose not to mess with.  Too often if I try and push myself out of a cycle, or interrupt it in some way, I'm not happy with the results.  It will be a quick, shallow fix. 

I tell the above story to relate it back to letting my work and business evolve in a more natural manner, instead of pushing hard.  I believe that I need to let it evolve naturally, let everything happen in it's own time frame, take advantage of opportunities when they arise, but do not force things to happen.  If I force my work onto people, I can alienate friends/family/possible clients.  If I change my photography in pursuit of success, I won't be true to myself and my art.  Just like a tiny seedling or a newborn, my photography needs to be nurtured, loosely guided and not chiseled in stone, and let free to roam and grow of age until it stands on its own.  

So, while my craft is maturing, I will remain patient, nurturing and supportive, and give it the freedom to evolve naturally in it's own time.  


  1. That is an insightful post. I think it will be hard though. I think you can do it because you're passionate. Marketing is important, but when it gets in the way of the spiritual fulfillment of your photography then its hurting the art. I like your approach

  2. I'm with Marshall, good approach. I'm heading in a similar direction. "Patience, nurturing, support and freedom" require resilience, as Marshall implies. When you are clear about what's valuable, that resilience comes more naturally. Very cool.