It’s hard to think that there are people out there that do not particularly enjoy your art. People who no matter what you do, will always have something negative to say. Something in a disapproving tone to add to your work. Snarky remarks and reviews that throw away all the time and energy you spent creating a specific body of work. All the blood, sweat and tears-not literally but figuratively of course-are brushed off and cast to the side by these critical viewers. You’ll always encounter people, or rather, there will always be someone-if not multiple someones-that will not like what you are doing. Not just in art, but life in general. They might not agree with your life choices or the decisions you choose to make. They will not approve of the people you decide to love, or the paths you choose to take. You’ll encounter individuals who are ready to break you down. Said individuals might not particularly care for the photographs you take, the food you make, the pictures you sketch, the paintings you paint, the music you write and so on and so forth. I think it’s important to keep those negative people and their comments in your mind as you create. As you photograph. As you cook. As you sketch. As you paint. As you play. Maybe not so prevalent in your mind, that it interferes with your creativity. Not so prevailing that it stops you from doing what you love most. No, keep it on the back burner.
I think it is crucial to still remember that. It makes you stronger as an art maker. It makes you better as a human being. A more rounded individual. Sure you can easily tell yourself that those comments do not bother you. That they roll off your back, and maybe to a certain degree they do not affect you. They do roll of your back. There is no denying, however, that somewhere deep down inside, those comments have flipped a tiny switch in you. They have made you aware of the giant elephant in the room. And with the snap of your fingers-just like that-all those insecurities, that we as artists, have spent years containing and suppressing, in the blink of an eye come flooding back in. Like a raging waterfall of neglect. An awareness that is so grand it stops you from thinking. It takes you aback and throws you off guard. How can something so trivial-written by a perfect stranger-affect you so profoundly? Influence you to the point that you start questioning your art-even worse-start questioning yourself?
As an artist, myself, I create work that I find gratifying and stimulating. Photographing food is only a part of my art. Only a part of what I enjoy doing. For me, the cooking aspect goes hand in hand with the setting up of the edible composition and in-turn the releasing of the shutter. Being in the kitchen is equally as important. It’s where I shine most. I wouldn’t be able to photograph the food I shoot, if it wasn’t for the fact that I spend so much time-maybe equally if not more-cooking and preparing the dishes themselves. Each recipe is taken into consideration. Day’s prior, are spent brainstorming and finalizing a dish to photograph. Grocery lists are made and checked through three times to make sure I have not forgotten anything-and of course something is inevitably still left out. A full week goes by and I’m still working on the same post. And why is that? Because I take everything into consideration. I take my time to put out the best work that I can. Work that I can be proud of. It’s the perfectionist in me. Yet, it’s so much more than that. It’s because when it all comes down to it, I do want people to enjoy my work. I want people to try out the recipes for themselves. And then share their experiences.
I must admit that it isn’t always easy for me. There are times when, what I described earlier, has affected me. There are people out there who do not like my work. Who do not approve of my methods. These individuals find my site tiring. My photographs too many. My step-by-step depictions silly. Perhaps to a certain degree it is all those things. Maybe I do not need to show every single last detail, but if my site isn’t their cup of tea, well then it isn’t their cup of tea. And nothing I do can change that. Yes, for a brief moment, I lost sight of why I make art. Why I photograph my step-by-step site. Then I realized that those people do not define me as an artist. My work does. Those few comments do not overrule or null all the comments by readers who actually do enjoy my work. Those fans who not only like all the photographs but it actually helps them. Because they, like me, are visual learners. And they, like me, enjoy staring at countless images of food. So to those people who do not enjoy my site, I’m sorry we’re not a fit but thankfully there are a vast number of other sites that you might find intriguing. More importantly, to those people who I have managed to capture, thank you. Thank you for visiting and coming back. Thank you for trying the recipes and for the kind words you send. Thank you for taking the time to write a shout out. Thank you for scrolling down the long posts. Your words are encouragements to me. It’s because of you that I continue to do what I love most. And what I would like most right now is for us to share a red velvet whoopie pie together.