Eight years ago, I caught interest in photography as not only a career, but a lifestyle here in Los Angeles. After a high school class and a few awards of recognition and excellence in that field, I started looking at photography like more of a business than an art form. This was the time MySpace made it big, and with my internet skills, I got to market myself to thousands and thousands of people, reaching nearly 32,000 fans within a year or so.
I was happy. I had followers, I received messages from people telling me that I was their inspiration, and I had people who went to college because they saw an 18 year old do what they were afraid of doing at 25. I still have these messages and they do keep me humble.
Today, with so much going on and people being over-connected to each other, everyone wants to become the next 'cool thing'. "Hipsters," as they call them, have existed for a long time. It just wasn't cool to be a hipster. It wasn't hipster-ish to be a hipster. Today, with Google in everyone's pocket, becoming a *insert career here* has become one of the easiest tasks anyone has ever accomplished. Sadly, that 'career' isn't really a career for many, but only a mask. A character wears his/her mask and goes ahead to advertise to the world what they do, or think they do, rather.
I learned the hard way that my MySpace friends, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and YouTube viewers were only people looking to be entertained, not actual followers of everything I posted. That's not a complaint, because I was at fault for not recognizing how things worked during that time. Soon enough, as it always happens, once I realized that what I saw around me at the time was only a fake bubble created by my imagination, I started to grab the media's attention. I was interviewed by a newspaper, featured in a magazine, and my Twitter account, which has been my most active social media account, has gotten anywhere from local media outlets to local restaurants following me. It's always a good sign when major groups and organizations follow you, but if the expense is realizing that the majority of my 'fan base' is consisted of bored teenagers looking for entertainment online, then that means nothing to me.
I wasn't as happy anymore. In fact, I took it hard and brought all of my work down from my websites. I shared some images on my Instagram account, but nothing that was major. I spent my time painting and throwing the canvases in a closet. Every now and then I'd be reading and I also came across many amazing opportunities and life-changes that I positively dealt with.
I will soon share my work with you, and I will hopefully put an amazing piece of work together for you. I'll try and teach you more about art, as I learn more about art from you.
I recently read Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. This book revolves around the idea that success doesn't come from one individual, but from many things happening around the said individual, helping achieve success. What it also mentions is that in order for someone to be an expert in a field, he/she needs to have had 10,000 hours of experience in that field. I'll gladly tell you that I have hit the 10,000 hours mark in practicing photography, and I might have spent another 10,000 hours editing in the past ten years. In no means am I implying that I'm an expert, but to know that the definition of experience connecting with expertise coming from a man who interviewed Bill Gates and researched The Beatles for this book is amazing by itself.
|A page out of many, showing the positive, encouraging messages I've received and saved through-out the years.|
I keep every positive, encouraging message I receive, and I often go back and read one or two when I'm down. The Internet broke my heart, but the good human beings behind it made it all worth it. Thank you for your kind words. Just knowing that I've encouraged somebody or made a bad day a bit better for someone else means the whole world to me, and as an artist, I run on that fuel. I realized that many people will go so far in marketing themselves that they sell themselves just to get a comment or two. They'll do free work just to get their subject's attention. I'll no longer use these social networks the same way as I used to. From now on, my job is to enlighten and entertain my followers. Feel free to be more connected in every positive way, and tweet me. I want to keep the good close, and let the bad have a choice of being good or bouncing.
P.S. I'll be sharing some new pictures with you as soon as I get my website re-designed. I'll make sure you all get sneak-peeks before that though =)