"The average person thinks he isn’t."
- Father Larry Lorenzoni
Today I was thinking about mediocrity... well I was inspired to consider mediocrity by a very strange site I ran across while researching pin-up art (warning this is explicit stuff) the site is called Midbrow art.
Anyway, I was looking at this photographer's work and thinking... you know, there might be some sort of interesting premise here, but it's really not done very well. I felt that the images were really washed out and not very appealing.
Then I was thinking about how, having named his site midbrow art, the artist may have actually been aiming for mediocrity.
The thing is, for me, that mediocrity is one of the things I fear most. I would be happy to be loved or hated; I would hate to be uninspiring. And maybe, in his way, this photographer did inspire me... He did get me wondering how I would have done it better :) but I would not be happy being that kind of inspiration either. I've always wanted to do the best in whatever I undertook. I know I probably can't be "the best" fashion photographer or writer... there's not really one best person. I want to be among the best though, if I'm going to do it at all :)
So I've never claimed to be without vanity ;)
One of my worst memories of any class I've ever taken was in a photography class. It was photo 2, and I didn't much like the teacher (he was one of those guys who gave As only to tall skinny girls), and furthermore found his work boring (though I never told him that). In photo 1, my teacher loved my work. She told me I was one of the best natural photographers she'd ever seen, and really encouraged me. So I was kinda unprepared to encounter a teacher who really disliked my style. He was a very technically oriented photographer (which I am not) and we simply did not appreciate each others' work. Well, one day, in the darkroom, he was looking at my work and told me "I don't know why you're so excited about doing this photography, you're a mediocre photographer at best."
I'd never cried in a class, and I did not cry in front of him, but I left the room and cried. If he would have said I was a terrible photographer I would have been ok (I think), if he said he hated my work it would have been ok... but mediocre? to me that is the worst possible insult he could have given me.
Well, I am going to have to accept that there are going to be people who feel that I am a mediocre photographer/writer/artist. That's just the way it goes. Hopefully they won't tell me that to my face, and if they do... hopefully I won't cry about it :)