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The Viewfinder: Embrace Your Artistic Journey: Why You Are Good Enough

By Gary Randall

The Viewfinder: Embrace Your Artistic Journey: Why You Are Good Enough

In a world where we have access to a system that exposes us to so many talented artists who are doing what we are doing, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and insignificant. It is easy to feel like we (or what we do) are inferior. I am here to explain why you are good enough and why you should create and live within your own world, your circle of influence. My advice applies to any artist, and even serves as a general tenet for a happier life.

I see a lot of disillusioned and discouraged photographers online. Many are discouraged by what other photographers are doing while ignoring what they should be doing instead. It is easy to become distracted thinking that the many photographers online are competition, or that they are lucky and we are not, which is the furthest thing from reality. Their lives have nothing to do with ours, unless you draw inspiration from them.

I have been online displaying and marketing my photography since the creation of the internet. I have been a part of gallery websites, message forums and social media sites. I have felt the feelings of failure and of success. I have watched others excel, even those who started around the same time, and seen even more give up and declare failure.

What I have learned about this is that the successes of others should encourage us but, in many cases, they do the opposite. We must realize that the successes of others often come from opportunities that never would have crossed our path. Those opportunities are a result of the effort that they put into their business and the circle of influence they create. Those factors are separate from those that feed our own artistic endeavors.

To be commercially successful as an artist, we need to create an environment amenable to our work. It is important that we use the internet and social media to draw others to our art and to create a following of people who appreciate and want to support us. That following will be unique, cultivated by our singular efforts.

A huge contributor to the failure of a photographer is not being patient and getting discouraged, sometimes just before the work pays off. Spend your time living in and embracing your own world: you will start to realize your own successes, both large and small. In not comparing yourself to others, you are less apt to become discouraged and quit.

Commit to the success you seek as an artist. Compare yourself to no one. You will avoid unproductive feelings of inadequacy or failure and be happy for the success of others.
The circle that you create surrounding your art will be one where you can inspire others and they inspire you.

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