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Ever Feel Not Good Enough?

It's the second to last week of my 2nd quarter here at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and everyone is in a total panic-we're rushing back and forth between the service bureau and the lab to do touch ups on our prints and then resubmit them for final printing. It's quite a relief knowing you have one print down and a few others to go, but that's not what's bothering me.

Everyday, I walk through the gallery and basement and look at the photographs previous students have done, and instead of being fascinated and inspired, I stare with envy and sadness. I often question myself "why am I here?" I look at their work and look at mine with utter disgust and just feel like I'm not doing anything right, and at times, I just want to pack up my things and get the hell out, you know?

And it doesn't help when your professors ask you "why are you here anyway?" They're harsh on work, and if they spot the tiniest problem on an image, they complain it ruins it. I don't know why I'm letting this get to me, I mean, it never has before.

I just want my work to be perfect, but of course, no photograph is perfect. I'm trying my best, but I just don't know if I'm good enough for this field.

Please spare me the "I'm sorry" crap..I really don't need it..
takethispain takethispain 18-21, F 3 Responses Mar 15, 2012

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hey !
i am an art student myself and understand your position. we do wanna do great work dont we.lets see if i can help, this is what helped me...
- have you seen the bbc documentary " the genius of photography".
its brilliant! it will inspire you, and beautifully made...if you have seen this, they maybe check out some other great films on great photographers all there on youtube...
- i also really liked the film on "sally mann" check it out on youtube. its really inspiring.
- you look beautiful maybe do a experimental self portrait series on yourself !
- you know, professors at my college sucked too, and i think most of them dont care much..so... let go ! make your self a learning machine :) dont really need profs.
and yes for feedback, maybe mail some photos to your heroes of people you like the work of...they reply if you ask kindly!

i do hope the best for you!
keep me posted if it helped, if something else crosses my mind will let you know!

all the best !

The professors of photography really don't have a real job. They need to justify their positions and wages by finding faults with students' work so it may seem like they have to be there to teach you guys.



It's like acting school. The teachers always find what's wrong with your acting, but really no one can teach acting. You learn acting all the time as long as you pay attention to life. Same for photography. Everyone can learn it on their own, and no one picture is perfect.

For the past two or three years, I have felt not good enough.



It is not a good way to live.



I am trying to work through my feelings, and it is hard.



Sometimes, constructive criticism is good -- it can take your performance to a higher level, and sometimes, it can cut you the quick and make you feel like it is pointless to try.



My questions would be: 1.) Is there anyone whose opinion you value -- someone who can look at your work objectively?



2.) Does it matter to you what other people think?



3.) If you work at your art, can you improve?



4.) How much time are you willing to commit to learning your art?



5.) Do you just need to take a break for a little while and get a fresh perspective? Maybe you are burned out.



I am not an artist. However, I am going through my own dark night of the soul. I wish you all the best.