Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Getting Feedback & Food For Thought

To carry on from some thoughts from the prior post.... Getting feedback is critical for growth and can help confirm that you're on the right track. Finding that feedback may be difficult when it comes to your career. In my case I'm changing careers so I have to relearn where and how to get suggestions and advice.

Entering competitions I'm finding is very gratifying when you win or place well, but unless you can corner a judge and ask specific questions all that you come away with is that you did good. At the Twin Cities Professional Photographers Association (TCPPA) yearly print competition I did fairly well for a first time entrant. I made some novice mistakes in presentation that probably turned excellence into just above average entries. I'm not happy with that of course, but more to the point there were so many entries that it was impossible to get real feedback. I got scores, but don't really know in detail what needs improvement.

Winning the yearly competition held by Sculptural Pursuit magazine was the topic of a prior post. A few months after that I entered into another magazine's competition, namely Aesthetica. Aesthetica engages with contemporary art, contextualising it within the larger cultural framework. It was founded in 2002, and Aesthetica Magazine is one of Britain's leading art publications.

I was recently notified of being a finalist in their competition and recieved the following from them to be used as a blub...

"The second Aesthetica Creative Works Annual explores the imagination. This book showcases artwork and creative writing from over 30 countries. The anthology contextualises the larger cultural framework by asking probing questions about the current state of affairs: the economy, globalisation, technology and the environment. Moreover it offers a platform from which to analyse the art we producing today. Its cutting-edge nature offers you autonomy. As the reader, this book provides an insight into our deepest thoughts, anxieties and aspirations. Art becomes the tonic for the modern world."

I'm honored of course, and probably will feel more so when I become familiar with the magazine. However, I'm not sure of the judging criteria and consequently do not know what I should feel good about specifically. The photographs sent in were judged deserving of publication. I should be happy with that alone.

After all, my images where chosen from 12,000 sent into the competition from many countries!

Time to grow up Jim... is what I'm telling myself. You're doing good. Stop being so insecure.

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