Yesterday, during a Blitz, I found myself staring at brightly coloured, sun-a-flaring, golden meadows, bright green trees and crimson poppy fields. They were landscapes on steroids. Perfect, in a chocolate box, Fanta kind of way.
They annoyed me a little.
Something about them was not real. Unconvincing perhaps (though I couldn’t find a flaw).
Digging deeper I uncovered divine monochromatic imagery. Portraits of people who’s eyes bored holes in me. Those same poppies, redeemed when captured in black and white.
It was calm and complex and grounding and asked questions of me. The soothing quality of liquorice tea. (I like liquorice tea).
‘But my family and friends like the bright stuff!’ angst-ed the photographer, torn between what she loved shooting and what she was shooting to please her nearest and dearest.
‘Think of your work like a calming herbal tea’ I said. ‘They think they want Fanta, but actually they probably just need to slow the F down and have a good cuppa and breathe again. They just don’t know it because you keep feeding them Fanta.
It’s a bit like this lockdown period really. There we all were, tearing around, caffeinating ourselves to keep going, and suddenly…..boom. Everyone has been forced to stop. To look inwards. To get to know close family, partners, or just themselves again. We’re back into the garden (if we have one), baking sourdough, watching kids be kids, and slowing down.
We didn’t know we needed it until we got it. And it took a while to ‘come down’ from the high.
In yesterday’s early bird Series Project session (it’s not too late to join) Billy said ‘no one can do your flavour better than you’.
Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you want to succeed in a world of art buyers, creatives, designers, curators and photo editors (you do don’t you?) you need to be honest, because they can tell when you’re not being true to your own flavour.
And trust me, they’re looking now.
Once you know and understand your ‘flavour’, you can find the people who’ll be inspired by it, and pay for it. (And quite frankly that probably won’t be your family)