Any artist in this digital age - who has ever found themselves on social media - is bound to catch themselves either comparing their work to that of others or having that little voice in the back of their minds ask them: “Is this what people want to see?”
Even with the utmost integrity, it can happen, as fleeting as those thoughts may be at times. We are surrounded by new visuals daily and, unless we completely disconnect, we might need to check in with ourselves and ask:
Am I creating because I care?
Am I inspiring myself?
Am I sharing because I enjoy expressing myself?
Am I creating because that’s what I think people want to see?
Am I undermining my own abilities, skills, and vision because someone somewhere might be *better*?
Am I sharing to stay relevant?
I don’t have an answer for how to completely quieten those voices but I know that regular check-ins with myself, with a friend, or someone caring enough to listen, can help. Just putting those thoughts out there, be it on paper or in a voice message, can be enough to make you see what you might need to change in your mindset.
I am writing this from the comfort of my garden, enjoying that rare British sunshine with an already empty coffee cup by my side. I am thinking about the past and the future, and I am wondering: have the past couple of years changed our perception of how connected we want to be with the people we know and the people we don’t?
I am perfectly content to keep my connections to a minimum albeit I enjoy sharing tidbits of my work with the rest of the world. But, I mean those real connections.
I am wondering if the lockdown brought me a sense of solitude that I actually craved but was too scared to admit that I need it. I don’t want to be pulled in every direction, emotionally and physically. Is it bad to admit that?
There are few types of people: some crave the energy and get fired up from others around them and then there’s us, the quiet ones. The ones who can happily travel on their own, share a conversation with a stranger at a bus stop or at the park but not actively looking to grow their network. It can be exhausting to be emotionally invested in many people around us so I think, or I would like to think, that it makes our life just as fulfilling to keep true to ourselves.
We like peace, quiet, harmony, a few adventures here and there, but the stillness brings us clarity on what we are and what we are doing, especially if it’s related to arts. I welcome this stillness in my life and for now, I am embracing it while I can because who knows what the future brings. Today, I will enjoy my quiet sunshine in the garden with my empty coffee cup beside me.
In my job as a writer, I come across stories about artificial intelligence-powered services, software, and products on daily basis. It’s pretty mesmerizing that there are so many tasks that we can outsource to AI and they cost a fraction of what human labour would cost.
This development is undoubtedly affecting people who rely on providing a cost-effective service, especially outsourced to other countries, but it does give the rest of us access to quicker and cheaper workflows.
Whether you are culling, editing, or creating something that could benefit from relieving you of tiring tasks, it’s actually bringing originality to the forefront.
You don’t need to worry about the AI coming into your creative world because it won’t replace your originality as a flawed but interesting human being.
People will still look for stories and voices that have something to say or to show. Let the AI take care of your menial tasks so you can focus on being that original self – that can never be taken away from you, be it by AI or by someone you’ve outsourced on the other side of the world.
Originality cannot be squashed.