I read this quote about a year ago and it really affected me. One of my great weaknesses is that I’m self-critical. I think most people are to some degree, but I know for myself that I have limited my growth because I don’t always believe in my potential. Part of the problem is that I compare my beginning efforts to those who have cultivated their talents for years – even over their entire lives. I see what I want to become, and then I grow impatient when I can’t have my desired ability in a short amount of time.
I have come across several talented artists over the years and I love seeing images from their beginnings. The reality is, they weren’t always amazing, and that reality-check is helpful to me. I have compiled a few here.
1. Okay, the first one is Helene Dujardin. She is a self-taught food photographer and stylist. She has a great book called Plate to Pixel that I recommend to anyone interested in learning still life photography. The first pictures here are from 2006 from her blog. The gorgeous photos underneath represent her style today. I wonder if she had any idea that her talent would evolve to this. You can visit her blog here.
2. The next one is Caitlin Wilson. She is an interior decorator and textile designer. This first picture was taken before she had much experience beyond her formal training. But her talent accelerated quickly – she decorated the beautiful gray room just 3 years later. You can visit her blog and portfolio here and her shop here.
I also love the nursery she designed for her daughter. Ellie would go crazy in this gorgeous purple room!
3. I recently came across this lifestyle photographer and painter, Katie Stratton. The thing I enjoy most about her photography is that is really tells a story. Interesting details that we sometimes overlook play a strong part in her photography. The first pictures are from 2008 and the second ones represent her style today. You can visit her blog here and paint shop here.
When I look at these pictures it reminds me how these talented individuals were beginners once too. Sometimes I think, but what was the turning point when they actually starting getting good? And then I realize that it probably went like this:
I guess it means progress isn’t exactly linear – there’s a lot of tumultuous learning that happens in the middle before you really start to feel like you’re getting the hang of it.
Anyway, these examples inspire me. They encourage me to keep practicing and to trust in my potential.