Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Value of Encouragement

A few weeks ago I had lunch with one of my old college roomies - his name is Tim Barnes and he's an amazing artist - works primarily in animation. At one point he mentioned he really liked seeing my images on Facebook, and that no matter what the image was, it still had  a strong sense of me...for some reason this was really encouraging. 

I think it's because I've been trying to come up with a new way to make images as a visual artist. I want to move from taking images to making images - but I've been struggling with finding a voice for making this new method work aesthetically for me. His statement was really encouraging and gave me the confidence to realize that whatever I did - it would still be I could stop over-thinking the process.  I started focusing on what my imagery is really about - what kinds of visual storytelling I'm drawn to. Within a week, I found I had come up with a whole new set of images that I think are an interesting new direction for me. 

The new work didn't come out of was supported by the fact that I'd been doing a lot of exploring lately - doing tons of photoshop-imaging exercises - learning new techniques. The problem was they were all this kind of macho "Just Do It"- "Red Bull" type of stuff (guys doing manly stuff on a basketball court) and I didn't visually relate at all...but I was learning new methods of working...lots of new tools - I just didn't know what to do with them. 

So, armed with my new tools, there was something very valuable in that simple affirmation. It gave me the confidence to stop worrying and get on with it (...sounds suspiciously like "Just Do It"). Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that it's okay to be ourselves - to trust ourselves. Too often we tend to discount positive feedback and only focus on the negative. Usually we already know what the negative is, so focusing on that...I don't know if it helps. Having someone give you the freedom and encouragement to be yourself, to trust's not just empty words of praise. Coming from an honest viewpoint, it can really make a difference.  

p.s. My step daughter, Katie Osgood, did a great post on this type of experience as she discusses a workshop she took with someone she really admired as a visual artist. 

No comments:

Post a Comment