>Phoning It In


Concentration, from the Game Series, ©2009 Jeane Vogel Photography, Infrared Photograph

Everyone body does it once in a while: phones it in. Creation become mundane. Even work we love can become boring. Maybe I’m feeling sick. Maybe I’m feeling bored. Maybe I’m burnt out. Maybe I’m resentful of the work the client wants.

Maybe I’m just lazy.

I know that sounds harsh, but let’s call it what it is. It hits all of us once in a while. We let it slide. It’s good enough. We hope it doesn’t show.

Of course it shows. All of us are judged by work. Our most recent work. There’s truth in the old saying that we’re only as good as our last effort. The old stuff might be great, the new stuff is lackluster, but nobody will notice because we’re successful or well-known or … whatever.

I recently read an interview that drove this point home to me. A local reporter, long relieved of duties by layoffs, produced a freelance piece for a small paper. I know this person and the writer is competent. The article I read was not. The questions were common, the writing was lazy. The reporter phoned it in. It was good enough. When I thought about it, I realized that everything I’ve read by this writer lately has been far below what we used to except. Maybe the writer thought no body will notice.

I think lots of people notice.

As soon as the thought “it’s good enough” pops into my head, I know I have to resist the temptation to believe it. As soon as I realized I’m “phoning it in,” I know it’s time to look at why.

Why is it “just good enough?”

Is the concept not good enough? Start over.

Is the client not paying enough? Learn from that and restructure the pricing — next time.

Do I think I’m not talented enough to deliver the work I imagined or promised? Try it again. “I can’t” generally means “This us too hard. I don’t want to try.”

Am I bored? Too bad. Do it anyway.

We all can’t be the best, but there’s no excuse for laziness. There’s no excuse for phoning it in.

About jeanevogelart

Art saves lives. That's my mantra and my motivation. My primary purpose as an artist is to inspire, entertain, make you smile, make you mad, make you think or recall a memory. I strive for work that is intimate and genuine, and sometimes whimsical. It's always more than a "pretty picture." I demand a relationship.
This entry was posted in Art, Artist QuickFix, Infrared, NewWork, Photography, Soap_Box. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to >Phoning It In

  1. Björnik says:

    >I couldn’t agree more. But sometimes, after creating something great, I get so stressed out thinking how I can parallel or outdraw with the next drawing. And it’s really hard when expectations are high and you aim for excellence in your art.

  2. Jeane Vogel says:

    >Bjornik,Wow! What a great point. We get in our own way a lot, don’t we? Perhaps part of our “excellence” is believing that we have more than one great work in us. It’s not a fluke. You are that good!

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