The last thing we need is more homogeny in the world of art. Once you’ve found your vision, find your voice, but make sure it’s your own. That takes courage.
— David duChemin in the conclusion of Photographically Speaking
I’m in a contemplative mood this morning, having finally just finished David duChemin’s latest book, Photographically Speaking. While I’m a voracious reader of fiction, I’m not a fast reader when it comes to books on art, creativity or spirituality. I like to take my time, sip my tea, and contemplate. It didn’t help that this book has only a two-week checkout at the library. I’ve had to put it on hold and check it out three times. Now that I’ve finished, I’ve decided I need to buy the darn book already!
But the quote above really resonated with me this morning. He talks about finding your voice in photography, which I call “finding your eye.” It does take courage to be yourself in your art. To learn from others and then step to the side, sometimes discarding what you have learned. To say, “This is me. Here I am, take it or leave it.” We get worried about the “leave it” part of that statement. But the fact is… we can’t make everyone happy, with our art or otherwise. And we can’t be anyone other than who we are. So we might as well take a deep breath and work to create our own unique vision and voice.
This is probably catching my interest because we’re about to start a new session of Find Your Eye this next Sunday. Registration closes tomorrow, and later this week a new group will begin to gather to start their journey. I love these journeys. The anticipation and uncertainty at the beginning which gives way to confidence and strength by the end.
David’s right: “The last thing we need is more homogeny in the world of art.” Each of us has something new, different and fresh to add. Isn’t that a wonderful thought to contemplate today?