I don’t expect to ever be truly understood. I don’t expect people to understand why I do the things I do. Honestly, I do live my life with a certain lack of expectations from others. I live this way because then I am never disappointed. I don’t expect things to be handed to me nor do I want them to be. I enjoy working hard and, if I am being honest, I enjoy the frustration of not getting through to everybody.
There are people who have internet fame these days. I watched a photographer grow from a student photographer and how he is selling his prints on Facebook to his thousands of followers. But when I looked more closely I realized something. Nobody is buying his stuff. They all compliment him, they tell him how good his work is and a very common comment on one of his posts was “when I have money I am going to buy one of your prints!” What got me was “when I have money”…. He has spent the past few years dedicating himself to having a fan base that cannot support him. I have a lot of people who like my work too, but that little like button on Facebook does not pay my bills! I wish being tumblr famous could bring in a 7 figure income for me, but it won’t so I don’t really try that hard.
The internet is a great way to show your work to people, I love it and I share as much as possible. But I also like having clients and I like having people who are willing to pay for my artwork, which I don’t post a lot online because my art is limited editions and I don’t really want it all out there floating around for free. But my editorials and stuff I shoot for my portfolio, well that is meant for the web.
Basically I see a lot of people trying to build a following, but it is one big circle of people following each other and all of them telling each other how great they are. How does this benefit you? Or they go onto Instagram and follow thousands of people just to get half that number to follow them and then they unfollow 90% of these people to make it look like so many people now follow them. It is a false sense of cool. I don’t believe in that. I believe is being true to myself and if people like it I want them to like it, I want their real attention just as I give my clients my real attention. I don’t believe in “follow for follow”, how stupid is that. Let’s make each other look cool, we can pretend we are famous, after all it might happen one day!
This may sound a little negative but it is not supposed to. There is some truth to fake it ’till you make it, but this is when you have substance but nobody has noticed yet. If you don’t have substance it is hard to fake it. People will eventually see through you. It might take years, but they will forget about you. This is why there are terms like “just another pretty face” or “just another flash in the pan”. Have substance, be real, be genuine and the whole point of faking it until you make it, well, you have to make it! You have to make it. Emphasis on you. I don’t know anyone who truly desires to be fool’s gold.
Here is one from my latest editorial with Desirey for NIF Magazine