Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Becoming and artist

From Art & Fear : '..... becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.' Reminds me so much of Joseph Campbell's idea of following your 'bliss'. Every artist has to forge a path through the forest in search of his grail. If he follows another's path, it's not his own and the message in the art will be derivative. 

When I see a scene or incident that catches my attention and piques my interest, when it speaks to me and I photograph it, that says something about me. As I work on an image I look for what caught my attention and for the flaws and weaknesses it reflects in me. Again, from Art & Fear : 'Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them.' There definitely is an undercurrent of fear in taking photos of people on the street, but having overcome that and having nailed the shot leaves me with a buzz. When I see reflections - in windows or mirrors - the image takes on new levels and planes of focus. There is the background that stops the viewer's attention and forces the eye back into the scene. There's the street merchant facing the camera and pushing attention back to the middle ground, and there is the woman in the foreground, really just a non-descript dark presence that stops the eye from drifting off the side of the image and forces attention back to the center of the image - the reflection in the mirror of yet another person who does not bodily appear in the shot.