PS Artistry, Awake update

I have been fairly quiet on my Photoshop Artistry course, not because I have not been doing it, but in some regards because I have. I still post about travel and photos, but just not a lot about my artwork. Although I have recently begun a series of posts on my Still Life Project. So we are into Session 8, and while there are assignments every week, it is often the written proponent that trips me up. Sebastian asks the hard questions of the Life as an Artist……….

  • What do WE really want to do with our art?
  • What really stops us from achieving our goals in life and art?
  • Where do we want to take our art?
  • What is our intention or purpose for our art?
  • What are our goals and aspirations?
  • Stop obsessing over what other people think and just create )easier said than done)

Stuff like that, Sebastian asked each of us to start and carry a journal, normally I write everything down in that journal, as well as sketches and scribbles for various ideas. I had post -it stickers all over the pages, for ideas I need to come back to someday. I have a whole raft of ideas for future pieces. This is where my Still Life Project started and many others I have planned as well.


Alice featuring Model, Jema

For now, he has asked us to work at our own pace, and to start to develop and mould our artwork into something like an exhibit or gallery show, something we can be proud of. But here’s the kicker, do not do it for others, create for ourselves. We have a closed Facebook Group, where we post images ask for Creative and Constructive Criticism and we receive it usually. Sometimes we do not get a single comment or like, it can be slightly depressing and disheartening, or  you can have such a huge response it puts you on a high, how can you not become obsessed? Are we becoming so narcissistic that we rely on Social Media to feel good about ourselves, our artwork?

And if we do not fall prey to Social Media, how do tell if we are any good? I mean I know we are supposed to do it for us, for fun, and mostly I do, but how do we grow, how do we learn if not from others? To what level do we hold ourselves accountable?

Surburban Redemption

Suburban Redemption

If I was to say I am only doing this for my self, not for any attention or recognition or reward (financially or otherwise) it would be a lie. I am sure that all artists crave recognition, to be told that they are good, or creative, imaginative, or talented. I don’t care what kind of artist you are…………you DO IT for some kind of acknowledgement, surely? Only children create purely for fun, do they not, once done it is forgotten and they are onto the next. Can we really do this as adults as well?

There is a valid argument that obsessing over acknowledgement prevents you from creating, and it is probably true. Yes I have pieces with which I am not happy with and they seldom see the light of day.


Suburban Serenity

Occasionally I have pieces I want to share, as I am so proud of them, I know they are good; I sit back and marvel at what I have created. My friends and family say they are good, but is that because they love me? It’s what people you don’t know say, that’s where the thrill is, people who would not know you in the street, coming up to you (via Social Media anyway) and saying Man……..that is a great piece of art!

But through Sebastian’s guidance, and others I am learning to take more time, re work pieces and ideas, sometimes to trash something and move on. To develop goals, ambitions and to stretch myself. I am trying to learn patience and slow down, life is not a race, and it is the journey and not the destination that matters (is this not true in all corners of life?) Revel in life, be Present in life, to absorb everything, take nothing for granted. It is a soul searching course as well as an artistic one. Sometimes it does not all sink in at once; sometime you have to meditate and contemplate.



As I move forward with this and my Open2Study Photographic course, it will be interesting to compare the two, one is purely photography and the other is purely art. I think I am turning into a philosopher?


20 thoughts on “PS Artistry, Awake update

  1. Yes very philosophical. I agree with you. When I post something, I need to know what people think of it. Isn’t that why we put stuff out there? It’s why I started blogging, to find out if my photos are any good. I thought they were but how did I know? Now I can’t wait for a comment so that I can have a conversation (no matter how brief) about the post and whatever thoughts that it leads to.
    For the record, your works in this post are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG I LOVE your Surburan Serenity and Mystique images, somehow I have missed those! Fabulous!

    Yes I agree at the frustration with the Catch22 around needing feedback to know if you are on the right track and getting addicted to the high of getting it. Did you join the Awake Critique group – several of us started it a while ago in response to the fact that you really don’t get any real actual critique on Awake, and the images that tend to garner response are rather lavishly praised unnecessarily in my opinion.

    Its a nice safe place to post and I *have* had some good feedback but I never really feel like other people *want* real feedback, that is why the Critique group is good. Its not there to tear work to shreds but give really honest responses and I have seen some vast improvement come out of work posted there. So that might help feed your need for feedback?

    On the other hand there is the “am I on the right track, do people like this?” where the stuff I have slaved over gets hardly anything and something I just twiddled with gets LOADS of likes. That I find deeply frustrating and its really hard to answer that one!

    I feel your pain tho!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know I love these, but I’ll say it again!! I love them. They are visually poetic and visual alchemy! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everyone and there are some wonderful photographers on WP.
    I had to smile while reading your post. Flickr is a good example. I’m seeing work there that has hundreds of likes and I was wondering why not mine? boo hoo. Then I saw that many of those favoured ones were posted in anywhere from 100- 200 groups! I wish I had more time to do that lol. I haven’t started my artistry course yet because of- well- no excuse really. I often wonder if my written stories are any good too! Though I’ve had some wonderful compliments here on WP I’m still full of self doubt. I need to put forth more effort and improve in so many areas!
    Your work is beautiful Julz.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Monochrome Madness 2-51 | the runes of the gatekeeper's daughter

  5. Julie, your words ring very true, we all crave some kind of acknowledgement and perhaps praise at some level. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed exploring your artwork. Well done and I mean that!
    – Phil

    Liked by 2 people

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