In Hawaii, one of my biggest impressions on the culture is the magnitude and importance of details or small acts. This was refreshing to me, not as a new concept, but rather one that I feel was organically ingrained in me, only to be ‘taught out’.
Having been on the mainland for several weeks now, getting back into my work has felt different in both good ways and bad; on the one hand, I am able to celebrate accomplishments of the creative work I do, understanding the significance in acts I before felt were not making me ‘busy/working hard’ enough.
On the other hand, recognizing the amount of effort, intention, intellect, and energy that goes into my work (a stark contrast to people who simply assume I pick up a camera, click the shutter, upload images, edit, and then call it a day) leaves me to understand the cost of what I do. Not just the physical cost of equipment, paper, and resources; but also the cost of education, research, passion, and ‘know-how’.
Going into the New Year, I’m grateful for this perspective. A time of year to evaluate not only what I give, but what I receive that makes me give my best. I think this comes at a time where I’ve been on the brink of considering how important, or not important, my work is, if my contribution to others is as valuable as I hope it to be, and if it’s all been in vain.
Artists don’t simply ‘have a knack’ for what they do. We don’t just think something will ‘look pretty’, slap something together in 5/50/497 minutes, and call it a day. Just like you, I read books on business, take classes to further educate myself, calculate each step to consider how it will benefit the bottom line, and strive to succeed.
I hope, in saying all of this, you find similarities of value within yourself - or, recognize some of the intention and accomplishment that had perhaps been overlooked in others. For those of us who work hard, I think it’s safe to say that the desire for or quality of what we produce may be up for debate, but that our drive to get there is unquestionable. If we seek to understand a little more of the journey others have taken, we can not only learn from them but help others succeed along the way.
Teresa Robertson is a Photography-degree, award-winning, published Photographer specializing in all things women & birth. Maternity, Birth, Newborn, Children, or Family, she proudly serves multiple locations, including D.C., Atlanta, Michigan, Orlando, and Oahu. Her Fine Art series ‘Mele Ma’i: Procreation Chants’ can be found here. For information on Bereavement Photography, please visit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep