The Unforgiving Nature of the Internet

The internet is goddamn incredible, there, I said it. It has afforded us the ability to converse with people around the world, people who would never have crossed our paths before as well as allowing us to share conversation with all of our friends at once. It has quickly become a huge part of our education with vast amounts of information available at the click of a button and yet still, with creativity, the internet has a hell of a lot to answer for.

As a creative person living in Cornwall (a place where not many people will venture to in order to experience art), the internet is a big deal to me. It's a platform where I can share my work with people who wouldn't ordinarily get to see it, but that itself comes as a double-edged sword.

The majority of us aren't lucky enough to pick up our instrument and instantly be brilliant with it. In fact, one of the biggest parts to growing as a creative person, or any person at all, is accepting that you are going to suck, and you have to work through that. And this is where the internet comes in play.

At the time, it all seems well and good. That photograph that you've just taken, it's incredible right? You share it on Facebook, on Tumblr, or whatever, and maybe you get a couple of likes (maybe you're lucky enough to get thousands), and you're grinning, pleased with yourself. The problem comes when years on, you've grown as an artist. That photograph you took in the first few months of having picked up a camera, it looks like a fingerless child has taken it and you don't like it anymore. It's not that you don't appreciate the past and how you got to be where you are now, it's just that you don't want it to be attached to your name anymore. And you definitely know that you spent hours deleting all of your old work off all media platforms, but still, clients are googling your name and asking 'Did you do THAT photograph?' with a disconcerting look that says I'm not sure I trust you to capture an important part of my life. 

Now, I'm not saying that the solution to this is to not post any of your work when you're starting out. I'm not actually offering a solution at all, because maybe there isn't one. It's important to share work, not just for the potential feedback, but also for the excitement that comes with having someone appreciate something you've created (because that in itself will be a driving factor to you being encouraged to better yourself). Just be aware that some things, once online, are an absolute bugger to get rid of, and when it comes to being hired (or not hired), those early photographs, stuck on the depths of Google - they might just be the difference between a job or no job.