Among The Best In The World
Last week I learned that I've been named among the world's top fashion photographers, as a finalist in the One Eyeland awards. It's amazing to be placed with so many other great artists, and lovely to be recognised. Being able to call yourself 'award-winning' is not anything to take lightly and it's a real honour and a privilege.
I've already mentioned this in a post on Instagram, but in order to receive recognition like this, two things need to happen. Firstly you have to be creating something, and secondly you have to put yourself 'out there'. This means exposing yourself to the possibility that you might fall flat on your face, be the subject of criticism, have your confidence knocked and take a beating to the ego.
Especially in this online era, criticism seems to be a global sport and rejection is the norm. Who doesn't love to judge the failures of others, to criticise those who dare to put their heads above the parapet, or to sneer at those who dare to take a shot at the things the rest of us are too lazy or cowardly to even try? It's much easier to hide behind our computers or televisions and deride those who are trying, than to try ourselves.
Indeed, the whole celebrity gossip industry is built on this cheap gloating. Yet it seems unaware that at some point in his life, a nervous Brad Pitt had to brave his first audition, that at some point Picasso would have been told his work was rubbish, and that at some point Dame Margot Fonteyn would have been told she was too heavy to be a ballet dancer.
So this is a shout out to everyone brave enough to share their art with the world. It's a celebration of all the people who dare to put themselves 'out there'. And a huge slap on the back to those who have the courage to say "I don't care what anyone else thinks, I'm going to do it."
And it's a thank you to those who have bravely attempted to make something – to be a bit different – in front of the World. It's upon their shoulders that the great and the new and the revolutionary climb to the top, even if they themselves never make it past level two.
The world needs more people like that.