Yesterday I attended a meeting of local artists and arts organizations as part of a state-wide initiative to help better serve the greater arts community. During this meeting, on attendee stated how artists need to learn to be better business people and to stop making art that people are not buying. We need to pander to the consumer. Compromise. In other words, if we want to sell our art, we have to sell out.
The very core of any true artist is a desire, a need, a compulsion, to create. Not for others, not because of any external obligation, but because of something innate, something internal, something intrinsic to our souls. We create because we must, and because we have something deeply personal to say, yet don’t know any better way sharing.
Sure, the desire for popularity and print sales is alluring. Worse yet, it’s easy. The world is full of beautiful places, and beautiful places are made for beautiful pictures. And beautiful pictures sell. What could be easier?
And what could be more boring?
Photography, as with any artistic pursuit, should be about the experience, about the discovery, and about revealing a subjective truth. It should be personal. In a manner of speaking, it should be an open and unabashed self-portrait.
Even if it doesn’t sell.