“Long ago, I made myself completely impervious to criticism. I did this simply by becoming my own audience. If I created something I was pleased with, then I knew it was “good” because it satisfied the parameters I defined for myself. On the surface, it seems like arrogance, but it’s very different. Arrogant people believe everything they do is “golden” and that anyone who doesn’t recognize that is “stupid.” In my case, I believe very little of what I do is “golden,” but when I’ve done something I think comes close, I certainly don’t think people who disagree are “stupid” — they just weren’t the intended audience.”
A piece of wisdom from my friend EGOR which came in response to an ongoing discussion about criticism on the Web. Specifically, we were discussing a very pointed and personal dis by a celebrity photographer of EGOR’s work.*
I think EGOR is on to something. We can’t possibly create work that has integrity if we are thin-skinned and bend to the whims of the Web majority. However, following his advice demands that we have a clear idea of what our parameters are, and why we are pursuing them. In my experience, this takes a level of insight and confidence which novices lack, and so they need a guide. While there are many well meaning people who are willing to offer advice, finding the person that can help us chart our own course, and find our “voice” is difficult, if not impossible. I am grateful to EGOR for being that person for me as I sought to invigorate my photography three years ago. May you be as fortunate in finding a generous and able guide.
* As it happened, aforesaid celebrity had not read the article and so he completely missed the point. And thus he forfeited the right to criticize. Fuel for a future post…
Please visit EGOR’s website at: www.ultrasomething.com/photography/