Be Proud Of What You Share(d)
What do you feel when you discover yet another stunning image by some artist? No, not the image above – Even though I was really proud of it three years ago…
When you keep seeing great images out there, it can feel a bit frightening. At times I look at my own work, shake my head and feel a little hopeless.
Instagram, Behance, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and the list goes on. Everywhere you’ll see beautiful stuff.
As you grow, you’ll look to new and better piers to improve, but no matter where you are in your career as an artist, you’ll often find yourself wondering:
How on earth did they make something so awesome?!
There’s always been good work out there, but now it’s just way more accessible and it’s almost impossible not getting it thrown in your face constantly.
I’m guessing your news feed isn’t covered with poor looking images. Why should it be? Looking at bad work isn’t very inspiring. Well, after a while it can be.
When I was still studying architecture, I thought I was the shit as I made the top image back in 2013 . One day in my last year at the academy, my professor actually pulled me aside and said:
“Jens, I know you enjoy making these 3D visualizations, but frankly, you aren’t very good at them. Maybe you should focus on something else…”
It stung a little hearing that. I knew I wasn’t that good, but whatever, I was loving it. When looking back at it now, I have to agree with my professor! I’m just glad I didn’t follow his advice.
The bad stuff
You surely know how to find the good stuff, but what about the bad stuff. Where is it hiding?
You need to go look for it actively and not where most of the good stuff is. I had a hard time even finding my old stuff. It was stowed away in an old dropbox folder, long forgotten.
That’s the funny thing with bad stuff, you stow it away, forget it, glad you didn’t post it. Then comes a day where you stumble upon one of your old images and it’s just so freaking valuable.
You will instantly see how much you have improved. It’s an incredible feeling.
I’ve been really tempted to go and delete my old stuff from 3D sites and fora around the web. Until recently I felt embarrassed by it. Leaving it up serves as a reminder of where I was a few years ago. What felt overwhelming to accomplish back then, is now something I do daily without thinking about it. Now I have new goals.
Old work should inspire you. Seeing it should go to show that you can improve. No matter your current skill level.
Completing your work
Putting your work out there, is a must. It sure is scary, but how will you grow if you are not looking for feedback? There’s this thing holding us back from showing “uncompleted work”. We want it to be perfect before we present it to the world.
“Work is never finished, only abandoned.”
– Paul Valéry
You need to realise that an image is never completed. There’s always room for improvement. When we are happy with an image thinking it was “finished”, I guarantee you. It was not.
So how do you know when your image is actually ready for the world to behold? Your image will be completed when you won’t have more time to work on it. Simple as that. That’s how deadlines work.
To answer the initial question of how some of the best artists seemingly only creates beautiful images. Well, they don’t. The great artists choose to share their good work, not the bad. It’s called curating. Exactly as when art galleries or museums have a curator decide what should be on display.
The great artists have serveral images nowhere near as good, stored in some old dropbox folder. They choose to curate what they show the world.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve curated the hell out of my website and most of my social media. I don’t want to scare off potential clients with bad work. You really should curate what you share. Just have in mind that every one does it and that the great artists have years of experience in failing before getting to where they are now.
Be proud of what you share and the image you have shared. You are putting yourself out there. Most people only consume. Very few produce.
Now go share something! – please not an image of your coffee mug or stupid pet. How would feedback on that help you improve your work?
That was it. My first blog post! Oh man, I know I’ll look back at it in some time and cringe, but this blog is to push myself in to getting better. Better at writing, better at sharing, better at helping others.
Thank you for following my journey. I hope some of it was useful to you.