It’s said that there are no new ideas and perhaps it’s true, but it really sucks when someone copies your work. I’ve had some of my ideas ‘appropriated’ and it can definitely get you down if you let it. I recently had a well known artist clearly borrow from one of my photographs. ‘Why is this famous person copying me AND getting all the glory?? Haven’t they got enough glory!’ ...you get the woeful picture. The best thing you can do is rise above it, try to take it as a compliment, put your blinkers on and continue on your path creating work that is true to you.
Post Exhibition Blues (or the PEBs)
Exhibiting a solo show takes a crazy amount of work and time. You’re focused on a body of work for at least two years. Then it’s hung on the gallery wall for two weeks. And then it’s finished. This is when you fall in a heap and the Post Exhibition Blues show their ugly heads.
One piece of valuable advice given to me was to work one year in advance. This means you have your work ready to show for the following year, which gives you plenty of time for marketing (learn how to create media packs here), and it also means you’re not so close to it when it’s being exhibited. For me this is a good thing as I can look at the body of work objectively plus I seem to be more relaxed when I'm already working on the next series, ergo a much more enjoyable opening!
loss of confidence
I completed my degree in 1998 and have continued to create since then with some breaks like when I travelled, had babies, or have woken up with no confidence. Most artists I know suffer from self doubt as well and I’m not sure why that is? Maybe because art can be such a solitary practice and you start second guessing yourself, or because it’s so personal and sometimes we find it difficult to really put ourselves out there.
I know one common cause and that’s comparing yourself to the others. With the wonderful interwebs we have access to so much knowledge but it can also be a hindrance, causing us to be overwhelmed with information overload. The cliché is true, the only artist you should compare yourself to is you.
sometimes you fail
Recently a friend helped me shoot a new self portrait and after spending a precious child free day editing it, I sat back and looked at it with fresh peepers. It was not good. At all. I was so disappointed that it didn’t turn out how I imagined! Again, I let it get to me for a bit but then I remembered that sometimes ideas don’t work out and that’s okay. Perhaps the idea will develop further into something else? What have I learned from this shoot that will be useful for another idea? Like all of these situations a change of perspective is all you need to turn your frown upside down. And yes I know that sometimes that’s easier said than done :)
- look back through your achievements and reflect on what you’ve learned along the way
- look to the future and list your goals, make sure you dream big!
- take a break from the internet
- get some fresh air and hug a tree
- rest, relax, and have some fun
be kind to yourself x