We all deal with insecurity, although artists may feel the pangs even more. Putting your art out there to be judged is not quite the same as handing in a quarterly report. And, whether it’s photography, film, writing, music, or a dance project, you need bags of self-esteem to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as Shakespeare put it.
So, getting tips on how to handle those incoming barbs and how to build self-esteem could help, right?
Singapore-raised Brian Lau describes himself as a portrait photographer, primarily focused on fashion and editorial images. He already has an impressive array of credits like working for Multifolds, a premier wedding photography company in Singapore—their clients are generally popular social media influencers and people that can afford to pay for lavish wedding events.
Additionally, his international clients include: shooting behind-the-scene stills for indie and short films like Happy Thanksgiving and Table for 4 which have been selected for film festivals like the “LA Shorts International Film Festival” while two more films, Mr. Strange and The Graduation Speech, use Lau’s images to create their posters; creating the content that Chinese fashion brand Xhibition uses for its social media mainly “Tik Tok”; he’s also working with exciting companies looking to expand into the U.S, including UB+, a new speaker brand, and Populife, an innovative wireless lockbox; and, has worked with Lithuanian actress Simonna, creating content for her social media, while working with her for the upcoming movie Mirroring Michael Jackson.
The young man initially discovered the muse of photography as a way for a shy kid to express himself: “There wasn’t really a book or one photograph that motivated my passion for photography. It was more about me being an awkward, introverted kid trying to find a way to express myself. So, at 13, I joined my school’s photography club and picked up my first camera. It was a medium for me to show the world what I saw and photography allowed me to explore the beauty of the world from an alternative perspective.”
Photographer Lau's raw imagery shot for movie poster
Lau's imagery whimsically used in Mr. Strange movie poster
Having now set up his own company, “Still.Brian Photography,” Lau finds that photography acts like therapy, explaining, “I am truly the happiest when I get to create imagery. That makes me smile.”
So, after speaking to Brian Lau about how art like photography can inspire you, and then doing additional research, here are some helpful tips for artists of all shapes and sizes, to help you raise your self-esteem and get you out of any artistic rut.
-Whether it’s computer art, music lessons, or writing courses, you can always learn something. And it will get you out and around self-minded people.
-I personally started to visualize my first novel, REJEX, getting published in summer of 2018 with me signing copies of it. Every day, I used a visualization technique by Sadhguru. Well, sure enough, less than a year later, REJEX is out on Amazon, and I’m now visualizing getting the book optioned to Hollywood.
-You can also create “vision boards” to help you visualize your goals and desires in life.
-Take that break, look up at the sky, breathe in the air, take a walk. Sometimes, art or writing that song can’t be pushed. It will come to you. Imagine it.
-Stick ‘em up around your place: I will create art or music that will resonate with others; I will do my art with joy; I am a good person and artist, whatever critics may say; and, simply but effectively, like those Nike advertisements—Just Do It.
-Reach out for support from positive associates and encouraging mentors. Listen and learn from their upbeat, proactive approach to life.
-You know the ones: I’m never going to sell my photographs or paintings; my music sucks; or, I should just quit. Thing is, we really are what we think, so be mindful of the words you say to yourself in your head. Trust us, all self-help counselors will tell you that if you think you’re going to fail, you will. And, thinking that your art will succeed feels a lot better than thinking it sucks.
Additionally, here are inspiring quotes from three different artists.
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”—painter/sculptor/playwright Pablo Picasso
“Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you're doing. If you're not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”—singing legend Aretha Franklin
“It's good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” —award-winning director Tim Burton
Finally, one of young photographer Brian Lau’s favorite sayings is: “Do what you love to do, the money will follow.” And, he adds, “And, make sure you have a blast doing it.”
Ashley is an award-winning journalist/author/blogger who has written for Playboy, Toronto Star, Movie Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Maclean's and others. He's interviewed various "leaders" in their fields, including: Oscar winners (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander, Jane Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Geena Davis, Anthony Hopkins); Grammy winners (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Pete Townshend); MVPs in sports (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Kobe Bryant); and, business leaders (Amazon's Jeff Bezos). He has an upcoming novel, REJEX, coming out on Pulp Hero Press. And he has written several episodic TV shows, appeared on CNN, and blogged for Mademan, Medium, GritDaily and HuffPost.