As a photographer, or for that matter, even as a hairstylist, I've always worked in fields that are artistic, but I've struggled with the idea that I, myself am an artist. I mean, I don't even want to debate that, it's not even worth it, but for the sake of this post, lets just say that I am.
In the careers that I've found myself in, I'm always aiming to please my clients. Because I've got such a strong desire to do exactly that, it has carried into a lot of other areas in my life too. I want to please everyone. As there have been more and more challenges and complications in the past few years, my mentality of trying to make everyone happy in my life has stretched me thin. It's caused me to be personally weak at times, I've not protected people in my life that I really should, because when I was trying to please everyone, in actuality, I wasn't making anyone happy.
In the last year or so, as I've shot more and more photos of people, most of which is because I've sought subjects out, I've stopped caring as much about which photo is going to be the most universally appreciated. I'm an artist, so I'm already weird. What is the most commercial successful output that I could have, is likely not what I'm going to gravitate to when it comes to what I show. For each of these posts, there are usually alternate photos. Most of those are genuinely basic photos, all of good quality, but not what pleases my eye when I'm trying to convey a mood or an emotion. I gravitate to the photo that is the most interesting to me, not what is going to get the most likes. Last year, I cared about pleasing everyone and I'm beginning to realize it's like multi-tasking. Most of us just aren't any good at it. Be the best you can be, but don't get too caught up when you can't make everyone happy. In this case, I need to allow art to imitate life. God knows my heart and I'm ok with that. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 55.
After the most commercially successful album of their career up to that point, Christian scream band Underoath released an album "They're Only Chasing Safety" that completely threw their fan base for a loop. It was a ballsy move and to many, it didn't make sense. Their previous album had been chock full of anthem-like songs, bordering on the melodic side of hard rock. The album went Gold, selling over 500,000 units. This was huge. The obvious move would have been to follow up with a similar sounding album, capitalizing off of what was hot and had sold. Instead, their follow up "Define The Great Line" was cathartic. It was heavier metal than they'd ever made before. In one fell swoop, the 11 songs on the album announced to the world "We don't care what you think of us, we're here to make music that WE LOVE."
Go figure, the album became their most loved and appreciated up to that point. A move that initially would have been thrown out the window by any major label, was instead allowed on their tinier independent label. The move paid off and as cathartic as the songs are, they are so incredibly good, appreciated maybe more by the fellow artists, but undeniably good. It has always inspired me. Here's the opening track off the album.