“Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”
As interesting as the above quote is, there’s a ring of truth in it that cannot be denied. So far, I have no idea how I am doing on my test, nor even how much longer it is. More still, I have no idea as to the lesson I am to learn or even if its one I CAN learn. In school, I did fairly well on exams. Even if I didn’t study or prepare myself for them, I had a knack for knowing HOW to take tests, especially ones that were multiple choice. I learned to deduce the correct answer in most cases to at least earn a low “B”. In the event where the answers took essay form, I learned to basically BS my way around for at least partial credit. It was the fill in the blank questions that usually got the better of me. Even then, I could answer some of the questions by continuing to read the following questions, hoping for a clue.
Where am I going with this? Good question, because I am not all so sure. My current challenges in a city with drastically high unemployment still remain. Yes, that’s the more obvious and probably more pertinant situation that I most needs to resolve. However its the conundrum of my photographic art that has me slightly puzzled at the moment. I often meet potential models in my comings and goings of daily living. As I meet someone I may happen to be interested in shooting, I make no hesitations in introducing myself and asking. It just so happened that earlier this week, while at a Denny’s restaurant, a young lady I spoke to about my work asked me what it was that I did with my art since I made no real effort to profit from it. Of course I explained that as any artist, my endeavors are to exhibit and share it. I explained that I did so on my web site and blog. She looked at me, as if to say, “That’s it?”. Or maybe I just read that into her pause, as she starred at me, waiting for more in my answer.
Another potential model even earlier than the last, asked if I was any good. With my chest thrown out and a slight smirk on my face, I tried to resist a prideful or boastful answer, so I kept it simple and said, “Of course.” But then she asked, “Says who?” I found myself searching for an answer that wouldn’t set myself up for a response like the one you get when someone says, “Beauty comes from within.” To which the popular response is, “That’s what ugly people say”.
So how much creditablility does an artist need before he’s officially “good”? Does that warrrant being famous and well-known? Then at what level do you achieve that? Does local cred count? How do you get famous in the nude art arena? How do you establish yourself as “good”? I know I like my own work, but then that’s kind of like asking a mother if she thinks her child is a handsome or pretty. Is doing art for the sake of art not enough or are credentials necessary to validate your street cred? Who knows? These are just a few other things I have to figure out for myself. Now that I have time on my hands, I can contemplate these things.