Natx-- I do realize you meant just a mild expression of a difference in taste, so I'm not blowing up at you-- this rant I'm about to throw of did get triggered by your comment, but please realize this is not blowing up at you-- it's just blowing up.
I don't want to sound like a whiny, annoying, brat (who can't take the heat of being an artist)-- though that's exactly what this is going to sound like-- but I mean, I do get tired of getting so much criticism all the time.
Don't get me wrong, critique is very useful, and I count myself fortunate that I get critical feedback at all--
But I do get quite a bit of bashing thrown my way, sometimes with little or no justification (like low blow 1-star rate-and-runs). I know I rub in an opposing direction to a lot of members on these forums, and there's reason for friction, but I also know that I have reached a good level of aquascaping-- and am proud of it, and would hope that I could earn some respect from it. I respect others opinions, but quite frankly I don't think that I deserve to be despised at every turn (not saying that I am, it just feels that way sometimes).
I mean, I've started this like everyone else-- two years ago, as a kid in a fish shop spell bound by the first planted tank I ever saw and thinking-- "I got to do that.
But I've worked hard, endured a lot (on various levels), taught myself to do things on my own, and reached out to learn things that I knew nothing about but knew I needed to know. I still remember last May when I went to my uncle and said,
"I don't know anything
about photography-- but I need to learn. I have 2 months-- please teach me enough to get into it, and I'll take it from there."
Then, now, and in the future-- I'm just a guy who loves the art of aquascaping, and has done everything he saw fit and within his power improve himself, and to help aquascaping grow and become a more serious art. That includes helping others learn what I've learned.
That also includes having very high expectations-- for myself and others. People get miffed when I critique because they're not used to it, and many do not have the same expectations. Also because my critiques can be harsh, blunt, easily mistaken for containing maliciousness-- so maybe I'm just getting a taste of my own medicine and proving myself a hypocrite by not being able to take it. Well, I have faith in them, and whether they listen or not, I'd hope that I could push them to do even better-- because we all can.
Including me. I know I got a long, LONG
ways to go too, and that I am using tools that may not be the greatest in the world, and methods that might not be the best either. Maybe Amano can make those phenomenal photos without ever touch photoshop (which I partly doubt), but I'm doing the best I can with I what I got.
And I know that I've got a lot-- been given
a lot-- and am grateful to everyone who has helped me. Which is a lot of people on and off these forums.
I'll continue improving, (because quite frankly I am still pretty bad at this) and continue growing and trying no matter what though-- doing what I can do, and sharing what I do with everyone. I can't be like the CAU guys, or the European aquascapers, or Amano. I can't, and don't want to be like the ever distant artists that have all our admiration. I can't be an aloof entity like them. So sorry, I'll be in your faces.
I'm an American. I speak English (decently), and am not afraid to share-- want to share!! I realize my seriousness can be the source of some animosity, and I'm not saying people don't have the right to hold it-- but geez, a bit of appreciation and compliments is nice here and there (and yes, I do realize I do get those too-- here and there).
Actually, when people criticize me they often do it by saying things like my work is junk because it doesn't live up to Norbert Sabat, or Justin Law, or Oliver Knott or whoever-- darn! Maybe the biggest compliments I receive are in the insults because those insults are comparing me to such high standards!!
I want to see myself grow-- and of course, to see aquascaping grow.
PS-- Oh, and just in case people decide be cute and communally not respond to my ravings, I'll say it here: Ouch, that hurts, that stings. I really am insignificant. TT-TT And the funny thing is that even as I say that I'm typing in the URL for APC, or maybe I'll go work on the Japanese aquarium blog I'm working in hopes of communicating with Japanese hobbyists-- because I just can't help it. I just care about aquascaping too much . . . TT-TT