I’m an artist. I’m not a painter and I cannot draw to save my life. But I’m an artist in the fields of writing and photography.
With being an artist, no matter which medium you dabble in, you need to have thick skin — at least outwardly.
What is the definition of thick skin? An ability to keep from getting upset or offended by the things other people say or do.
On the opposite side of a thick-skinned artist is one with thin skin. These are people who are vulnerable, sensitive to criticism, and get easily offended, hurt, and sometimes angry by the smallest rebuff or slight to their work.
In this article, artist, writer, and photographer are all interchangeable, so instead of writing similar sounding paragraphs on each of the different mediums, I’m just going to focus (pun intended) on photography. But feel free to replace the terms photography and photographer with the medium that relates best to you.
I love my photography and I think that it’s very good — both in concept and execution. But I’m also aware that it may not be the best in someone else’s eye. Everybody has an opinion of what they like, dislike, and why. Some viewers will see a piece of my work and absolutely love it, while others may see the same photo and absolutely hate it for one reason or another. And that is their prerogative. I have no problem with that, especially because I don’t like every piece of art that I see either. Nobody does.
I‘ve been a professional photographer for over 20 years. My art has been published in various books, I’ve been in gallery shows, won many awards, and received critical acclaim throughout the world. That is all fine and dandy and a nice feather in my cap, but on the other side of the coin, and more times than I can count, my art has been rejected by publishers, turned down by gallery owners, not accepted into photo contests, and has had numerous bad reviews.
Again, I have no problem with that. And when I get the chance, I actually like to talk with the “haters” and find out why they don’t like a particular photo. What is their reasoning? Their thought process? Is it the subject matter? The lighting? Composition? What?