The Problem with Today's Artists


Photo Credit: Greg Rakozy

The Problem with Today's Artists

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time looking at the works of other artists for inspiration. It's astounding how many talented people there are in the world. And yet the overwhelming majority of them, at least on social media, seem to think their job ends with sharing their finished product. For them, the process is simple: Make something awesome, post it online, repeat.

But art is about more than just the end-result. It's about the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get there. So many artists choose to hide this part of the creative process. They hesitate to admit to their followers that sometimes, their creative well runs dry. Sometimes, every day isn't an adventure. Sometimes, life isn't perfect.

The problem with this approach is that it completely ignores one of the most gratifying opportunities about being an artist: empowering your followers. Like it or not, when you produce good work, you're a role model. People will look up to you. So when you choose to conceal your struggles, you're misleading someone who otherwise would find solidarity through your own conflicts.

The Responsibility of the New Artist

Let's get one thing straight. The world doesn't need any more pretenders. There are already enough people trying to sell you on how effortless their life is. What the world needs is more novices -- people who aren't concerned with cultivating an image of perfection. It needs people who are eager to achieve while lifting up those around them.

If you want to stand out as an artist, seek to inspire the people around you. There's nothing wrong with telling a story, as long as your followers are a part of it. As an artist (and we're all artists), it's our job to make an impact -- to create something that evokes emotion and challenges people to view the world differently.

Stop worrying about appearing as an expert. Stop hiding your uncertainty and self-doubt. Stop convincing yourself that the world only appreciates who have reached the pinnacle of success. That's nonsense. As an artist, you're a leader. True leaders don't coach from the sidelines, they're in the trenches forging the path ahead.

This article originally appeared on Kevin's Blog