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As I work toward creating a name for myself in artistic photography, I’ve been thinking about photographers that have inspired me, “wowed” me to be better, or whose work resonated with my own. One of them is Gordon Lewis, who takes beauties like this photo. Another is Cubie King, who captures magical moments like this.
As I prepare and package photos to sell at an upcoming Martial Arts & Crafts Bazaar, I stumbled upon this image that I took on the side of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art building (if I remember correctly).
When I rediscovered this photo I almost asked myself “Is this mine?” because it has so many elements that remind me of photographers I admire. As much as I want to stand out, I found that comparing my photography to others in this way is uplifting and reassuring somehow.
In the creative world, generally speaking, I think we all want to be unique. It can be easy to compare yourself to others and see it as a threat to your creativity. The “They’re better than I am” syndrome can leave one paralyzed as they’re finding their way through the art world. And I’m bit by this bug every once in a while. But through time and exposure to other artists – talking with them, meeting them, learning about their process – I’ve come to take advantage of these moments and use them for inspiration and learning, as opposed to ranking myself to them.
So, as I continue on this journey of self discovery and identity through art, I want to keep in mind that being like others is okay. We’ll never be exactly the same, anyway. All I can do is be inspired and see myself as an artist with my own unique voice. My continuing goal will be to have more moments like this when I ask myself “Is this mine?”.