Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't go throwing stones

In a creative process, whatever it might be, correction and direction are needed.  Artists, in every form, do better work when in community, not that their work is communal work but instead that the community helps them be who they need to be in order to make better work.

I am all about the fact I have not arrived.  If I had already arrived what would be the fun in it? The challenge?  I lack skills and I am trying to fix that.  If I had it all figured out I wouldn't be blogging about my journey to get "there".

I recently went to a conference and joined a group on FB of like minded photographers who also attended this conference evening.  Basically embodying everything I said above (community and giving back... all that jazz). One of the goals of this FB group is to help our fellow photographers get better, push forward and be more like what they want to be.

All the same critique is neither easy to give nor receive.  Recently I was given critique.  And it left me waning. Not because anything that was said I didn't already know. Not because I think I have it all figured out.  I wane because in a group setup to build each other up this critique, while very true, was left with no application.

It was like when I was little and a struggled (still do) with spelling because I was taught how to spell phonetically.  If my mother (yes, I was home schooled) had stopped with you spelled "of", "cat" and "beautiful" wrong... I would have sat there completely perplexed at what I did wrong and what I needed to do to fix it. But my mother like I'm sure all of your teachers of the past and the present helped you through the hurt of failing by walking you through what was wrong and the steps of how to fix it.

I do not wane because of disbelief, anger or hurt but out of confusion. I am perplexed on where to even start or what to start on.

I share this not to download but to hopefully uplift.  Everyone gets critique in their life. Some helpful and others well... Not so helpful.  But either way if you receive it, in anger or acceptance try to weight it.  A lot of times there is truth in what is said, even if it comes out of anger.  And if you are like me left with less energy and a lack of direction on where to push that energy know you are not alone. And not because I am here but because almost everyone you have ever admired was here and comes back to visit on occasion.

Take a deep breath, then take it small.  Take it with care and try and find the joy you had when you knew you didn't have it handled because you are where you were only know with a little less joy but knowledge that you were right, you haven't arrived and that's okay!


  1. It is indeed okay Rachel, and if arriving wre easy, we would not appreciate it as much, I am sure.

  2. I met you at the conference & I remember your sweet personality. Even if you think you haven't "arrived" you already have the best personality and outlook on things...and that will take you further than a perfect site or impeccable photos. Feel free to contact me & if you're ever in the Baltimore/DC area again, I would love to meet up!

    1. You know I will. You were a blast to hang with, even if only for a short time and so sweet to someone you didn't know at all. I have your card in my purse along with Lydia's as a reminder of the two of you and pray for you both.

  3. This is a great article on criticism and how to accept it and even give it. Many people, including myself, need to hear what you said. Thank you!

    1. I'm glad it helped you! To be honest I wrote this to help myself process it. I honestly do love to hear criticism... only because I know I need to improve and I'd like to know where. Sometimes I get lost in the feeling of lacking but am unsure where to begin... but this experience wasn't the same as previous criticism and I wasn't sure how to process it for days and when I figured it out I thought I'd blog because if there is one thing I want to be is transparent.

      So I am more than excited that it helped you!