to thine ownself...

With gold band between stem and shank, the lustrous venturi pipe portrayed in Magritte's La trahison des image, is not a pipe. Similarly, I'm not a photographic artist. Neither am I photographer nor artist.

I'm someone who takes photographs and produces art. I also work a full-time desk job, provide part-time live-in care, garden when I can, and travel more than I garden! We’re all more than words can ascribe and describe. In Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, the narrator seeks to explain himself—specifically, his internal contradictions—with the rejoinder:

I am large. I contain multitudes.

In my opinion, the raison d'etre for producing fine (as opposed to 'commercial') art is foremost to gratify one's self. Whatever vision and however realised, art must wholly satisfy its maker(s) first. It's an uncomplicated proposition, especially if one's art sells well, or alternative income is regularly available. Both afford a high degree of artistic freedom.

That liberty can, however, easily come unstuck through collaboration or working to a commission, for example. Negotiating minor changes to detail in one’s work is often constructive. But there's a risk that incremental concessions inevitably create a chimera no one can wholly lay claim to.

Just when the 'chimera' threshold is transgressed, however, is something so-called 'creatives' must grapple with. I've limited artistic experience, so am ill-equiped to advise others on the matter. I do, however, have some advice, albeit self-serving:

Approach collaborations and commissions cautiously, and “this above all: to thine ownself be true”.
 East Sepik man, Goroka Cultural Show, September 2014

East Sepik man, Goroka Cultural Show, September 2014