artistic angst


It is embarrassing to admit that I am anxious and insecure about what to photograph. With all the urgencies and dilemmas that face those on Earth, I am focused on ten days of delicious freedom in Rome, in May, with everything already paid for, and a camera which I love to use.

Nevertheless, I am fearful: of wasting the time, of making stupid pictures, and of coming away with nothing but the taste of pasta. NO, just walking around and enjoying myself is NOT enough. I feel compelled to make something that resonates with my spirit, that moves others, at least a few, to feel and think differently through my images.

That is not a simple goal. It weighs on me heavily, as a duty to the privileges I have, to make something valuable, rather than just fritter time away wantonly, like a silly tourist. I do know I have felt this before. Each time, though, it seems new, like a fresh viral strain of apprehension.

In my head I know I have to pass through the incertitudes, the nagging uneasiness, and the fear of failure. BTW, failure, I consider, as failure to my own standards, not to another’s. I do not expect money, fame, or wealth. I crave, on the other hand, the satisfaction of connecting with myself, to my deepest thoughts and feelings, through my work.

I do not want to offend you, readers, with what may seem the trepidations of an advantaged middle-aged woman. I want to share with anyone who, in making art, has struggled with these same demons. I try to find perspective by gazing at stars, watching the news, or moving away from self focus. Nonetheless, this angst seems to be a part of the process. I do not like it, but it is part of it, anyway. I am like the cranky child struggling to crawl or walk. Not there yet, and entirely exasperated.


Published by

liese ricketts

photographer, closet writer, mother, grandmother, hermit.