Around the time I was writing the Creative Tale July issue, as I was thinking about bad reviews, good reviews… reviews in general and just how important they are to keep us on the right – the on we decided on – track, I got the feedback from two clients on my email. They reminded me of something very important that we – and by “we” I mean “I” – tend to forget.
The best thumbs up you can ever receive is not the one from your friends and family ( because if you are as lucky as I am, they will always encourage you no matter what ) from your peers, colleagues and not even from the curators. Some of the best and most important ones come from ourselves, closely followed by the ones from our clients.
We may have started because we felt the need and urge to create, to communicate our world with others, and we may put our hearts and souls into every single frame we create, it’s ours, it’s our precious baby, a piece of our mind in photos, yes, that’s all true. But we could have decided to keep it just for ourselves and simply don’t share it with anyone, but no. We decided to share it with others, to send it out there. We even decided that we wouldn’t just share it with others, but we would get paid to do what we love.
Our clients know us better than our peers or colleagues because they have worked with us, they saw us in action, sometimes before, during and after the photo was created, they know what we are capable of and, depending on the level of work we do together, we often get to interact and connect with them in moments that are particularly emotional and so everything that we do tends to have a much stronger impact in both their and our lifes.
For all these reasons and more, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of depending too much on this. Because honestly, there are few things more motivating than to get really good feedback after another and before we know it a certain level of cockiness starts to catch a hold of our work and the quality and uniqueness that makes it special will be affected by it.
So where is the balance?
What can we do?
The way I found that works best for me every time I’m starting to feel either too cocky about good feedback or too down about bad reviews is by picking up my camera and photographing, collaborating with other artists, brainstorming new concepts, putting into practice forgotten ideas, studying new techniques, improving known ones and simply by getting back to work!