One of the things that paralyze me the most is doubt. Impose a little doubt on me, and it is enough for me to question everything. It’s a hard lesson to learn but it’s especially important to stand up and have integrity for what I believe in and in my work as an artist. However, a healthy dose of doubt is also a good catalyst to create better work. Finding that balance, though? Good luck to me.
I was having my usual bouts with doubt today and I remembered this photo I took in San Diego. I was having some trouble finding a good composition photo at this location. The other side of the port was too far away, and the morning was just really so gray and gloomy that I couldn’t find some light to inspire me. Below is the raw photo.
After converting it to black and white, and fixing its contrast and tones, this photo quickly became one of my favorites. I am unabashedly biased towards black and white photos and art but this one gravitates to me a lot. It conveys a mood and its message changes depending on the perception of whoever is looking at it.
Looking at it today, while tackling with self-doubt, I related to that twig in focus. It seemed it was looking at that faraway destination while being stuck in a pile of rocks. That’s pretty much how I’m feeling at the moment.
I have clients, I work on designs on my day job too, I create art on the weekends, and post my photography online but I still feel like I don’t deserve to be called an artist or a designer sometimes. I have such high regard for the label, I couldn’t put that name tag on my own shirt. I ask myself, what do I have to do to be comfortable calling myself an artist? When I have these thoughts, I feel very much like that twig that’s stuck in the rocks in the photo.
But then again, those rocks support the twig and keep it from being washed away while living close to the water that also sustains it. No matter how ragged it looked, it’s living its life in a perfect balance. We may not see it, but it is continuously growing every day. I reflect on that thought and I figured, no matter how bad I think I look, I must still be doing okay because I am still here… Creating the best work I could and striving to be better. I am still growing.
Also published on Medium.