Why you should make art YOU love

Written on May 20, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration

One of the worst pieces of advice I ever got as a photographer was, “People prefer tender images of their children looking into the camera.  What you want to shoot won’t sell.” And, even worse, for a while I believed it.

Here’s the truth: People’s aesthetics vary. If you want to create your art in a certain way, chances are there’s someone (probably many someones) out there who wants what you’re offering.

A while back, I was reading a blog post by commercial photographer Chase Jarvis. He asked readers to choose a favorite from two very different photographs he’d taken during his trip to Paris, and to tell him why their choice was better. I had an immediate and clear opinion, but as I scrolled through the responses, I was surprised to see that people were evenly mixed between the two photos.

That’s good news for all artists. It means that there is more than one path to success. There isn’t just one aesthetic that you have to subscribe to in order to have a successful career.

So, produce work that you love. If you do, you will attract your ideal customers, the people who will love your work as much as you do. Please, be loyal to your vision.

You won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s ok. If you do, you’re probably either too cheap or too boring. And who wants to be one of those?!


P.S. Just for fun, let’s try our own version of A vs. B.

Which is better, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Photo A:

Or Photo B:

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  1. Meg
    May 27, 2011

    This is so very, VERY true. And important for us to remember.

    I like photo A. I love the colours, the textures, the openness, the scenery, and the movement of the couple. :)
    Meg recently posted..Inspiration Tuesday- Love stories- Perseverance- Doctor Who- and Testicles

    • Kate Watson
      June 2, 2011

      Thanks, Meg! Yes, it does have more movement to it, doesn’t it, which I think would resonate with a dancer like yourself. :-)

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