My work: My biggest teacher
Creating the spirit row was special to me. It was an intense process, that had many wins and surprising epiphanies for me. I want to share some of them with you. Even though this is a vulnerable topic. But being honest about my art and process has always been part of my business, and I'm not thinking of stopping sharing this side of it. So today, I want to share with you the learnings I got out of the "Spirit Row".
Art is communication
When sharing the pictures on social media I asked the question "what is art?" and I got many beautiful and deep answers. While there were many different ones, and all of them had some kind of truth in them, the one I resonated the most with was "Art is communication". Looking at it from a broader perspective, I can see that the purpose of art is to create an emotion. To have a certain effect. Which one that is, does not even matter. And this basically is communication. We have a sender, the piece of art, and a receiver, the viewer. What a sender means to say and what a receiver understands are often two different things. That depends on the experiences the receiver has, the fears, dreams and wishes or simply the mood of the day. But the purpose stays the same: To create an effect through communication. Understanding this brought me a big step further in my creative process and I have an even better understanding of the purpose of my work.
Art is individual
When I was finishing up the row I started to show friends and family what I had so far. I was very nervous about their reactions. What I found very interesting was, that everyone had another favorite. Everyone saw something else in them. I had never before done such a row of pictures, and it was really interesting for me to observe the reactions. It became clear to me that even within one row, there can be one picture that one person loves dearly, and another one would've sorted it out. There is no "good or bad" there is only "this person likes this". Understanding this fact has given me much more confidence. I could see with my own eyes, that not everyone needs to like a picture, in order for it to be good. This is not even a criteria. If there is just one person who enjoys this very picture, it already has a purpose to exist. And if it's just me, that's enough. Which brings me to my next point
Art lives by the trust in it
When sharing the pictures on social media I got some comments on my work. One of them also addressed the way I presented them. In my post I wrote about my doubts that I had during the process of creation. The commenter noted
"I also think art is in the intention and in the way you present it. At the moment you say « you tried » or « will it be garbage » it automatically loses something deep that I won’t be able to forget."
At first I felt insulted. Even though the comment was very respectful and not insulting at all. But I felt criticized in the way I honestly shared my process.
Thinking further about it I could confront the meaning, and started to be happy for the comment. While I don't agree with the fact that art necessarily has to be intentional, I do see the point that I was not presenting my art in the way it deserves. Doubts and questions are something every artists knows just too well, I assume. But the more I can overcome it, the more free and happy I can actually create. Truly something I can become better at.
Art is the complete process
When curating the pieces that should go into the row I consulted a friend for her opinion, that she happily gave. I was thankful for having a second opinion. But in some decisions I went against her advice. Quite natural, and nothing big. But this little incident made me think. Those pictures were technically not hard to take. But no one else could have created them the way I did. I chose the models and the setting. I set the camera and chose the pictures I want to work with further. I edited them of course and presented them. To be honest, being in a little horse-photographer bubble, I sometimes forget how special and individual every single picture I take is. Even those generic portrait shots, that are quite similar to many others out there. None is like the other and every single one of them is my art.
Sharing these learnings with you makes the artwork for me complete. I am thankful for being able to do what I am doing and even more so sharing it with you.
Hej, I'm AnnaThe horse-girl behind the camera
Welcome to my world of equine fine art photography! This is me - Anna, a German living in Denmark, loving horses, dogs and Lakridskugler. Always ready to try creative ideas, explore beautiful locations, or finding the beauty in your daily life. Read more about my work.