A couple of days ago I came across a motivational Instagram post on photographer’s mindset from Chase Jarvis, an influential American photographer and the co-founder of the best online education platform for creatives.
In his post Chase references the viral “Art is Pointless” student project by Jasmine Kay Uy. The left part of the the two-faceted statement on the white column in the stairwell of the UT Austin Art Building resurfaces fears and doubts of buried in the minds of most artists/photographers and the negative litanies they hear from their families and friends.
Negativity is toxic.
The powerful combo of self-deprecation and “well-meaning” but judgemental peer pressure overwhelmingly insinuates that this is “what the world tries to tell you.” However, it’s just a misleading facet of the real message. As Chase Jarvis notes, you have to “read all they way left to right” to constantly remind yourself that art matters, that you have a power to inspire others, that you cannot let other people inhibit your creativity.
Because, after all, it is only a matter of your mindset – leaving a full and happy life or whine and cut short your creative longevity. You must be willing to turn the corner and embrace the full message.
Every time when my artistic curiosity pushes me to come out with my camera for a self-assigned photo walk, I question if my images have any cultural or artistic point.
With so many “official” photographers already present at most events and all those people with smartphones, does my subjective unsolicited take on, say, the annual Quid Nychburris event, or the march for Scottish Independence, or photographing Xmas lights switch on show in the pouring rain, matter?
Am I wasting my time? Or, by following my photographer’s intuition, do I contribute to creating a valuable historical record? Oh, the power of the photographer’s mindset…
Initially made in 2015 for the University of Texas at Austin Department of Art and Art History Digital Foundations class, Jasmine’s artwork was meant to be a temporary site-specific student exercise. The fact that it got viral and is still referenced by the industry’s influencers, such as Chase Jarvis, just proves that that the message remains powerfully resonant in the creative community.