"Destiny is what you are supposed to do in life. Fate is what kicks you in the ass to make you do it." - Henry Miller
I've been snapping photos for decades. I've been told (and I know) that I've "got a good eye". Not to sound immodest, but if there are abilities I possess in which I have complete and utter confidence -- that is, in myself when I'm capably putting them to use -- these would be seeing (perception) ... followed by conceiving (conception), vocabulary/word flow and driving and/or sense of direction.
These are my skill sets.
For one reason or another, I haven't earned vast sums of money with any of them. A little bit here and there; I've been lucky enough to sell a photo or two ... I've been paid as a delivery driver (bread, flowers, newspapers, musical instruments) ... I've directed plays and designed lighting and websites .. I've written web content, ad copy and had stories published. But I have never had time to pursue my skill sets as anything other than passionate diversions: I love to drive, and will travel by highway whenever it's not completely impractical; I love taking photos, composing images, painting pictures with words and rhythm ...
But I've yet to be free enough not to do these things free.
Could I have obtained a commercial driver's license at some point and enjoyed the freedom and responsibility of being a long haul truck driver, say, or a Greyhound bus driver? Should I have dove into the grind, chasing agents and publishers or crafting the new Great American Novel? Should I step up my photo game - invest in some gear and finally amp up my tools to match my "good eye"?
Yes, probably Yes and most Definitely, I believe are the answers.
But then there is the daunting, overwhelming Social Army: the Facebookers, the hardcore 'Tumblrs', the bloggers, the i-news reporters, the You Tubers and Vimeo-ists ... Each with a squadron of "fans" and followers "liking" their largely mediocre output, and piping in with valueless comments and feedback. "Great work!", "Nice!", "Love this!" are the constructive offerings ... while negative Two Cents from the peanut gallerists, on the other hand, can go on for paragraphs. People seem to invest real time and thought, know exactly how, and are able to put into words, what they DON'T "like" ... but you'll be hard-pressed to find, anywhere online, a positive, well-written or thoughtful REASON to "like" something.
"See what your friends like!" Facebook and Google+ command ... and you all just do.
This, to me, is amazing. I understand 'mob think' and 'herd mentality' ... brainwashing, laziness and the basic human need for appreciation.
"Pedestrian Image", ©Jeff Glovsky
I guess my question is, if everyone is an artist -- a writer, photographer, DJ, musician ... "creatavist" -- then what's the point? Where does one begin to stand out and become noticed? Beyond this, where are the 215,000 notes on my own photo blog?? I've yet to receive more than six notes or likes on any image I've posted or shared anywhere!
Though to be honest, I would much rather cultivate a dedicated follower or two, providing encouragement of value by showing discernment and regular, qualified attention to my work, than a herd of strangers posting, "So cool!".
This, to me, is the ultimate pointlessness.