Sometimes, you look at the artistic skill that you practice and realise that there are others who are really putting in the hours and the effort to produce their 'stuff'. I photographed a Violin Recital at the Yorkshire School of Music and Drama last week and you just knew that there had been blood, sweat and hours for the artists to have progressed to their current stage. Short pieces from juniors and longer, more intricate pieces from seniors; all prepared to stand before an audience and be counted.
It mirrors any artistic practice, I suppose; you grow through periods of being unsure or outright not believing that your output is worthy of an audience and then you gradually put together a body of work and start to release it to the many. And then you receive your first piece of criticism and you want to put it all back away in a box. It doesn't matter if you are a painter, a photographer, a dancer or a musician, the reality that other will hold and express a view on your work can be unsettling.
So, you then have choice, be the best or the worst pianist the world has never heard or be an artist that is prepared to have a voice. In the greater scheme of things, you will benefit from hearing opinion and others will benefit from seeing and hearing your work. They will never hear it and see it the way that you do but isn't that the joy of putting stuff out there? Sometimes, the silence will be deafening; other times, you will have instigated a thought or a change - incredible.
I spent the latter part of last week volunteering at the National Photography Symposium listening to talks on everything from Gatekeeping to Ethics and meeting photographers that I had previously only read about. Hardly an image or a lens to be seen but bags to learn and then to think about trying.
Oh and an actor's photoshoot tucked into the week somewhere