Artists don’t need validation from others

Published 9:15 am Thursday, April 2, 2015

I feel like ranting this week. Sometimes I find myself stuck in a rut creatively. I can’t find any inspiration and I wonder why I was so interested in art in the first place. But somehow, inspiration always comes back to me.

Recently, I read an article by Sue Bryce, a photographer, called “Stop telling yourself you have no idea what you want.” In the article, Bryce discusses her ups and downs in the business of photography. I instantly felt myself in her shoes.

I realized I was not alone in the world of feeling uninspired. One thing I learned from Bryce’s article is that I don’t need validation. So often, we look to other people for attention in order to feel satisfied with what we are doing. From now on, I will be doing things creatively in a way that makes me happy. If others like it, too, then even better, but the happiness and satisfaction will start with me first.

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Something else I’ve struggled with lately is originality. I feel like I am a fairly original person. Sure, I find inspiration and motivation from other artists, but I don’t copy exactly what they do. I think it is so irritating when people copy others. You were made to be your own unique person, not a copy of someone else. Social media makes it so hard to be original anymore. I, much like other photographers, rely heavily on social media as a marketing tool. This makes it so easy for other photographers to see what others are up to.

I believe that photographers should be friends, not competition. Keeping up with what one another is doing on social media is fine and dandy, but copying what they are doing is not. That will just create some really irritated artists. Hopefully we can keep some originality in the world of art. Rant over.

Happy birthday, Grandma!

I would like to wish my grandma, Margie Murtaugh, a happy birthday! She is one of my most loyal readers and one of the strongest women I know. Thank you for always supporting me and my dreams. You’re the best and deserve a fantastic birthday. I love you!


Albert Lea High School graduate Erin Murtaugh is a first-year student at Rochester Community and Technical College. She can be reached at