Actually, I’ve ‘transcribed’ the name of the video you should find below from Nobody Cares About Your Photography to Nobody Cares If You Listen. You could also transcribe it to nobody cares about your art. I’ll explain.
I take pictures. I would like to take better pictures, so I subscribe to a very informative podcast called The Art of Photography. Ted Forbes has been doing this for a long time and I enjoy his delivery, and the subject matter is a nice mix of repertoire/history, theory, practice and even the ‘business of’. He recently published this short video – slightly off topic, and not. Anyone involved in the creative act might find his words echo a certain sentiment that concerns us all.
I tell my young undergraduate students that they must persevere. Stay the course, and that is half the battle (more or less), because no one cares if they succeed. Especially us (the ones already doing what they want to do). There are already too many of us out there, too much music, too many photographs, too many books, etc., etc. There is no place for them, and if they decide to change their minds and become lawyers, no one will cry their absence.1 I do care, really, and I do want them all to go off and be productive and …continue While I know this to be the ugly truth, we shouldn’t lose sight that, as Forbes states, we will always need work that matters. Always.
I might sometimes forget to remind my students of this fact, but I’ll point them here now. Ted Forbes might not be the first person to remind us of the importance of doing what needs to be done in art, but he has achieved, in a brief no BS manner, a succinct and focused afirmation that I can’t help but admire.
When Oscar Wilde ends his preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1891 with All art is quite useless, the complementary All art is most essential is implied. Useless but necessary, we will always need work that matters. So, keep working.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↩||I do care, really, and I do want them all to go off and be productive and create world-changing work, but I think, as a teacher, I need to remind them of this harsh singular responsibility|