from my notebooks, entry 6

as photography is a medium used by professionals and every level of amateur, you really need to find a special way with it, to make the work resonate at a deep level. people are accustomed to seeing great photographs in advertising, the newspaper, social media, art....how does one create or participate in facilitating the attributes that make an image effective and meaningful and worthy of the time it takes of the viewers glance. one basic thing for me is the original feeling. the quality of mind, consciousness, or mood that the artist has while making the image. if the photographer is bored, the image may convey this. if someone makes a continuity of this bored stance, it may become interesting enough to become its own style and find people endeared to its apathy, its simplicity, or the honesty it conveys in its own way. for myself, i prefer a lens of mystical realism, where each moment is the opportunity to express something precious about the fact that it is happening at all. each person can find their own center and photograph from there. if you are not happy with your photos, instead of worrying too much about the photos, why don't you focus on the center? when i went to art school they said not to take the critiques by professors and peers, personally, as the critique is about the work, not about you.  i didn't agree with that. if you are not happy with the art you are making, work on the artist for awhile. for me that includes how i eat, who i speak to, how i engage with research, how physical i am, what i am listening to, how i approach my dreams, what art i am looking at....deepening as an artist, for me, is an entire life philosophy and a practice. as much as i make art, i make a life curriculum that supports making art.  if you are engaged in an art practice, or are wanting to explore one, are there a few things you can include in your day that develop your skills of observation? do you keep a notebook where you can write down ideas for projects and develop those ideas? can you study other artist's lifestyles to see things they include in their day, which indirectly or directly influenced the way they approached their main medium? can you see that each thing you do in a day can be done artfully, and in service of your chosen pursuit or practice? if you are looking for a new altitude or depth in your work, perhaps pull back for a minute, and instead of hunting it in the result, court it behind the scenes, develop it in your daily activities. look to find the center (or if you prefer, a chosen periphery) that you want to create from, and then figure out what you need to include in your life to maintain that frequency, that alignment, that way of being and seeing that is absolutely unique to you.