Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Are you an artist or a follower?

Sometimes it seems that art is like a club you can join to boost your fame. But when you meet other artists, most of them are working on their own. They get some inspiration from other people and can be a part of a collective (think of an actor) but most of the times they follow their inner voice sucking in the outer world as a kind of inspiration.

So ask yourself, what is your motor behind your kind of art? Do you want to be a part of a collective or do you just want to join a club to call yourself an artist. If  you have to pass the bouncers and if you desire to be part of a certain collective it may force you to do things that lead away from your inner path. Does this thing drive you or are you the driver in the front seat?


Is this really the thing you wanted to do as you started with your projects? Is art like the Berghain in Berlin you want to get into? Do you depend on that?

I remember when I first started to upload my photos to flickr twelve years ago. I tried to get views, awards and wanted to be a member of a certain group (I also ran a successful group). I looked at other photos that were successful and tried to imitate them a bit. I think this process is okay when it leads to your own personal style, but when you are just focused on clicks, likes or whatever you start to miss your thing, your vision. You start to live the life of someone else...

I know from studying ancient and modern philosophers and my own experience that this road can lead to success but not to inner peace. And why are we doing this whole thing? Only to get as much likes (or money) as we can or to reflect on the world we see in our way and as a kind of meditation.

So ask yourself if you're doing your kind of art. Don't let other people spoil your thing. A good critique can be useful but it is just an opinion floating away in a sea of opinions.

As a street photographer I try to connect to other photographers to help them spread their art and to share thoughts and content. But I try to take this thing not too seriously. Do you want to follow your imagination or join an art scene? If they won't you let in it doesn't mean that the thing your do is crap. ;-)

Cheers,

Nils

BTW: Vivian Maier never showed one photo to someone else.

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