When I create something, be it a photographic image or an acrylic painting, I do appreciate the feedback from others that the artwork meant something to them, which I would call artistic validation. I think of it as a metaphor for making a connection with someone.
Before, I made landscape photographs for others and others seemed to like them, altough you are not sure of the complement of “Wow, that looks like an Ansel Adams photograph”. To be honest, in the mid- 70’s I was thrilled at the complement because it indicated that I had reached a level of technical and “creative” achievement that in fact I was chasing. Well, its not my goal anymore, although I am fortunate that having that technical image capturing background, it does make achieving what I want to do today less hap-hazard.
It may now be more of tired cliche, but I do feel that the images that I make today are more about me and for me. Somethimes I think that it has been a long time coming, but I am who I am today, and while I wish that I was absolutley brillant yesterday (or any day!), I can not change the past but appreciate it and continue to move on. That being said, I still appreciate the feedback that someone now connects in their own way with what I thought was significant. I like the honest emtional response, even though I know not eveyone may “get it”, but an honest response nvertheless, because I learn something about them that I may not have known before.
So back to artistic validation, which is in a way what this blog is seeking to do, diffinently what my web site is trying to achieve, why I meet with friends, family, other photogaphers to share my images and why I submit images to juried art exhibits and seek other exhibition opportunities. If I did not to make a connection and potential validation, why would I show my work? Keep it in a drawer if you do not want your work to be seen.
Thus I was very happy to have the image “Tired Bones” accepted in the Photo Series 2007 juried photography exhibit at the Irvine Fine Art Center (Irvine, CA). This is an important image to me and it is great to get the feedback from others, that at some level, it has connected with them. It is a validation that keeps me trying, to go out and take chances, to work on what works for me and to take the next step of showing new images to others. Like it or not, I think that like other creative and talented individuals, I also tend to self-doubt my work. Without some little reasurances, as we do perform without a net, we can go out on that “limb” and take chances.
Best regards, Doug