just enough


I read a rather disturbing post recently that got me thinking about the whole process of creativity, art and social media.  It got me thinking about why I chose to post my photos.  For me, it’s a way to discipline myself, to practice my art every day and also to reflect back to hopefully see ways in which I may be improving artistically.  I’ve also found this to be a very nice, supportive community of artists and I’m so thankful for that and for all the inspiration I find here every day.
Art is so subjective.  When we start comparing our work to others, how many “likes” we have received  or comments, or how many of our images have been posted on Flickr’s Explore, then I think we are traveling down a destructive road.
First and foremost, as Steven Pressfield has said “We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”  I do believe that creating art is not for the purpose of outdoing others, it’s a process that we should enjoy for ourselves first and foremost.
Whether we come here everyday, every week, or every month, we are all exercising our own unique creativity.
As a good friend and fellow photographer once wrote, “Without the showing up..the discipline..the practice – there is no art.”
And that should be enough.

*quote from Marcie Scudder http://www.marciescudderphotography.com/

53 thoughts on “just enough

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I believe I know the post you reference, because it made me really very sad when I read it.
    This morning glory is GORGEOUS!!!

  2. Beautiful photo and great post. While I assumed others felt this way, it is nice to see it in writing.

    I create (photography, writing) because it is what I do, because I must, because my head will explode if I don’t.

    The minute I consciously try to create as a means to an end, a little of the magic is lost and it quickly becomes mechanical, not as rich. That doesn’t preclude me from using my creations towards an end as an after thought (a story becomes a TV series or movie).

    I create for me. The proof is all of the material that no one else sees in which I still find pleasure.

    1. Bravo, well said! I feel the same way. We create because it’s what we do…and need to do, for ourselves first and then we may want to share it. It’s not a race or a competition. I view it as a process.

  3. Besides this morning glory image being wonderful stunning, texture and all. This is a wonderful post to remind us that art is not about the all mighty dollar, but rather a journey in finding ourselves through self-expression. Thank you!

    1. I think it’s all about out attitude towards fellow photographers. I think it’s wonderful if you are selling your photos and how nice if you’re making a living by it! But to view art as a constant competition is destructive.

  4. Oh Susan – after seeing your comment tonite..I just had to come over and see. I’m honored and touched. And – I love Steven Pressfield’s work. Whenever in need of inspiration – I refer to the War of Art..and – of late – Do The Work. It never ceases to inspire me. Love your thoughts…love your purpose and your passion..and your stunning image here!

    1. I’m definitely going to look into those books, thanks for the suggestion! I’m always inspired by your words and images and I look forward to visiting your site every day. You are my muse!

  5. On the other hand, sharing the beauty with like minded bloggers adds to my pleasure. I can’t imagine what might have been said to other than some immature adolescent problem rant?

    1. I think it starts with ourselves first and the need to create and then the pleasure of sharing it with others and this is a great place to do that. Unfortunately no, this was an adult rant.):

      1. I didn’t exactly mean it in the chronological sense… some folks never seem to grow up.

        Don’t take it to heart. (whatever it was)
        This blogging community (for the most part) has been so supportive. It has helped me grow in so many ways by inspiring and encouraging me. It’s also connected me with some wonderful bloggy friends.

        Don’t let the rotten ones spoil the experience for you.

      2. Oh I won’t Gunta because most people, such as yourself, have been wonderfully supportive and like you, I continue to learn something new all the time!

  6. That’s a beautiful flower…beautiful image of the flower, rather. I like your art…am glad that you’re here, sharing like you do. This is an amazing community, wonderful people…and yes, your friend Marcie does know art…incredible stuff there.

    1. I think that’s the point – we are all here sharing and supporting each other and that’s the beauty of this community. And I agree, Marcie is a beautiful person and artist and she has an incredible outlook on life!

  7. Well said, and oh, that heavenly blue! Though there’s definitely a down-side to comparing one’s work to other people’s work, I think a moderate dose of that keeps me going. It’s a matter of balance – too much, and you’re either full of yourself, thus out of touch, or too little, and you lack the nudge that seeing other work can give you.

    1. I love finding another photographer too! Thanks for visiting! I have to say that I usually don’t write so much here but just felt that it needed to be said.

  8. I am so thankful this morning for your post, as a person who was going down that slippy slope as you put it I turned off the comments on my blog a couple of weeks ago. I was finding the comment section something I did not want want any more. It was effecting my head and my photography. I was not doing what I felt right but what I was seeing on others blogs or flickr.

    By the way I do love your art and such a perfect title for the morning glory.

    1. Do what you love and do it for yourself first because it makes YOU happy! (: It would be pretty boring if everyone photographed the same subjects and had the same style…

  9. Well said. For many years I took photos and showed them to no-one else. Why? Because I like photography.

    However, I’ve realised that showing photos encourages me to take better photos and I love looking at the work of others, no matter what stage they are at.

    1. I do think that art is mean’t to be shared! I just don’t think that it should be a constant contest with other artists. We all love what we do, we all work hard and for that we should all be supporting each other. I love pouring over other people’s work because it gives me ideas on different subjects and inspires me to try new things.

  10. You can’t see my expressions and body language so all I can say is that I really really enjoy looking at the photographs you post. I get good feelings when I see them. You don’t have to post them and it doesn’t really matter to me why you post them. I’m just glad you do because I like to look at them and I look forward to them. Pretty much that simple.

    I do understand the feeling though. I sometimes wonder if I overdo it. Maybe a little. Maybe got addicted to the easy stars. But I do like to write. I know I could work harder and write better work than I write and post. Apparently some people enjoy what I post. I don’t know why. I just like to write. And who am I to say who should like or get anything from anything or someone else gets nothing?

    1. And that’s the point of it all, you are writing because you love it! Just as I love to take photographs, I just feel good when I’m able to create something. At the end of the day I feel like maybe I accomplished something, learned something new or just plain enjoyed myself. It IS as simple as that!

  11. Very true. With the way things are these days, it’s a little too easy to get obsessed with those numbers. But really, it should be art for art’s sake and to hopefully inspire. You do that with every one of your photos.

  12. Amen, Soonie, I SO agree. The object is to share, have a sense of community, and practice your creativity. All worthwhile in their own right…no need to “count”…that leads down an unfortunate path to egotism, arrogance, and lack of compassion for others.

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