Tomorrow night there will be an opening reception at on of my favorite local restaurants, City Lights Cafe, for a photography show. I’m nervous about this opening reception, mostly because it’s for me. Yup, it is my photography on display. And all I can think is: What Was I Thinking????
For several years I had much anxiety about sharing any of my photographs with others. I worked in the photo industry for a long time and I’ve known a lot of photographers and…. well…. sometimes they can be really critical of each other. Really critical. In fact, the only group of people I’ve found to be more critical of people in their own field are poets, but that’s another story altogether. Now, if you’re a photographer reading this, don’t get mad at me for saying it! It is the truth.
The other part of this is–who calls themselves an artist? Can you be artistic and not an artist? Maybe I’m artistic but somehow that title of Artist is heavy and a little frightening. Do I risk insulting real artists by presuming it is reasonable to call myself an artist? And then there’s that weird word that has shown up recently. Artisan. And it’s not just bread that’s artisan but a lot of things are given that title. It’s a puzzle fraught with danger. Or is it really even that big of a deal?
At the same time I have to admit that over the years I’ve sort of stopped caring about what most people think and just gone on about my business of doing whatever it is that I want to do. I have a whole blog of photography, The Mental Scrapbook, and I’ve become accustomed to sharing images and other creative stuff and junk right here on this blog with the world.
But the world isn’t my neighborhood.
The world can scoff and critique me and make fun of me all it wants on-line. I can be brave on-line!
But this wonderful little restaurant in my town is not full of the far away electronic world. It is full (if I’m lucky) of people who live near by. Worse than that, it might even be full of people I ACTUALLY KNOW!!
And yet I am doing it anyway.
Wish me luck, gentle readers, and if you’re up in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina during the month of May, stop by and see my work. But please…. be gentle with me!