Accept nothing in return, except/accept yourself

Even though you may be able to talk about something, you may not be able to do anything about it. Although getting something into words, or at least getting it into an overall concept or approach can help deal with all of the surprises to an extent. Surprises are the things that seem to come out of nowhere to challenge you. I was writing some letters to two guys who have constantly found themselves in trouble with the law. Mostly it seems that drugs are the main problem. Also, some people can’t spend time on their own and find themselves mixing with the same crowd. Being alone can be challenging and we only have a small number of constructive people we can spend time with. That means that you have to spend time alone and make it work for you. To ease the boredom you can busy yourself with hobbies. Yet people rarely want to put the work in. That can be because solitary activities can set off negative ideas. Inner criticism can kill a lot of creativity.

I have been making therapeutic art for decades and I still have a strong critical voice. The only way I find to get around it is to just accept that it is part of the human condition. I just let it do its thing and accept that I have to make work regardless of how a certain part of myself may feel about it. I also tell myself that people are quite positive towards the effort. If you make an effort, you will at least get some respect for making the effort. You may fail, you may not reach your ideal, you may not be happy about what you have done, yet you at least tried to make something. I feel that I have constantly failed, yet I can accept that I am flawed and normally look back at the work that I have made and realise that it is out of my hands. It is done and some people will see it in any manner of ways that I can’t control. To be brutally honest, even those that may like what I do will probably never collect it for whatever reason. It is simply something I can share as a photograph.

This photograph is on a platform owned by some billionaire who is using the platform as a business model to generate advertising revenue. They don’t even upload a high-quality image, instead, they are loading billions of photographs in fairly low quality to keep their platform chugging along. So to cut a long story short you won’t get rewarded for your effort by anyone in a way that is truly beneficial to you. You will only be guaranteed less than a second of less than fifty peoples attention span if you are lucky. You have to make the reward yourself. This happens by finding a way to accept your limitations (there are so many) and live in your own skin. On some platforms, I get next to no interactions yet I find that the dialogue in my own head is my real reward. The fact that I can create something for a very small audience that has no real commitment to what I do. Yet I create regardless and feel satisfied putting the effort in. Also, I know that I have touched some people and inspired them in their own pursuits. Hopefully, we can all be creative and find a voice that won’t be drowned out by our own negativity or that of others.     

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