Tuesday, September 7, 2010
As an artist, you have to learn to differentiate between good advice and just plain overkill.
Recently I have asked some well known photographers what they think of my doll work. I was told by one person that I should leave in the chains and stands that aid in posing the dolls (I discarded that advice), and that I should do a lot more photoshop to make them look real (this negates his 1st bit of advice). I was told by another that I need to add motion (which results in a lovely motion blur, THIS is great advice). I was told by another (and this one I had to laugh about) that I have framing problems and I don't know how to use negative space. This from a guy who definitely shouldn't throw stones from his glass house... albeit a lovely house (after all, he IS good). He has some photos with weird cut off limbs and negative space that is filled with blown out highlights. I chose to ignore 95% of his advice. He was conceited and to me the affliction was unfounded. Because I find a lot of his work is utterly and tragically forgettable.
He told me my work was "boring as shit", and that there is none of "me" in my work.
I literally lol'd...
My work reeks of me. I am sometimes vapid and sometimes full of emotion. The gamut of my work reflects that.
He than spent the next 5 minutes tooting his own proverbial horn! He bragged about taking photos as a kid... Really? I mean if that's all it takes to make you special, good! Because I used to shoot my Barbie dolls! Started painting on canvas, sewing clothes for my Barbies and photographing them, all by the tender age of 6!!!! He bragged and bragged about shit that most artists do anyway. *He is NOT special* He simply believes his own hype. And although I found his "critique" gratuitous, self indulgent and just plain inaccurate, I did learn one very valuable lesson...
You have to be convincing in selling your worth as a photographer, or you've got to have delusions of grandeur.
Me, I've got a little of both.
*the above pic is Valentina in some shots from a series that I took for my personal work. There are six other photos in this set. I have pics of her with motion blur actually punching the other doll in the face, but I didn't want to post the whole set here. Recently I have decided to show the Ying to my Yang... and it's ugly.