August 26, 2009
The problem with trying to please others is that you end up pleasing no one, including yourself.
Why do you create? Who are you trying to please? If you have an image that you love, but the public does not, how does this affect your opinion?
Several blogs ago I had related this story about Edward Weston as recounted by Ansel Adams:
“After dinner, Albert (Bender) asked Edward to show his prints. They were the first work of such serious quality I had ever seen, but surprisingly I did not immediately understand or even like them; I thought them hard and mannered. Edward never gave the impression that he expected anyone to like his work. His prints were what they were. He gave no explanations; in creating them his obligation to the viewer was completed.”
We all would like our work to be appreciated, but do we sometimes depend too much on the opinions of others? Do we sometimes define our work or even ourselves as artists by what “they” think?
When you focus on producing work that others might like, your work will lack power and confidence. You can never please others, because there are just too many “others” out there and their tastes are fickle. Only when you follow your own creative compass can you be strong, confident and truly creative.
So choose to please yourself, because when it comes to your art, your opinion is the only one that really matters.
P.S. I chose the above image, Urban Starfish, specifically for this topic. It’s an image that I really like, but rarely do others appreciate it.