Like all forms of art, virtual photography comes with many different and constantly changing approaches and although there is a common desire to create and capture beautiful images, there can even be a perceived difference of opinion over exactly what to do with them. Most artists undoubtedly have a desire to share their work with others in the hope that the inspiration that was felt while creating a piece is translated to those who view it. However, the modern trend of fast-paced, disposable content is often at odds with this and the artwork's opportunity to shine can be all too brief. Should your work really be single-use or does it deserve to be given more than one chance?
The inherent momentary nature of social media means that any given piece of work can fail to reach its audience
Social media platforms are the tool of choice for the majority of virtual photographers looking to share their work, and for good reason. The digital medium of virtual photography is ideally suited to an online environment where the art can easily reach others with shared interests and where there is no shortage of inspiration. A growing sense of community and the ever increasing engagement from game developers can be highly rewarding but there is a flip side. The inherent momentary nature of social media posts mean that any given piece of work can fail to reach its audience, regardless of quality, and it is not uncommon to feel a sense of great disappointment as a favourite shot goes seemingly unnoticed into the digital ether. A perceived need to be on-trend also creates pressure on artists to constantly produce successful new content that can easily become demotivating but running to keep up is not the only option.
While it is absolutely encouraged to keep capturing new images, that is the whole point of this pursuit after all, it should never be at the cost of inspiration or purpose and it is equally important not to neglect your existing work. As something that I touched upon in "The Photo Process: From Capture to Share", it's recommended to keep a well organised record of your art, making it easy to look back on.
Revisiting older work has several benefits and can help to see it in a different light. As experience and knowledge grow, inspirations change and feelings evolve, what once felt like a perfect capture might now look like something to be improved upon while an image previously discarded for one purpose may actually become ideally suited to another. Not only is this one of the best ways to learn and develop but viewing previous work with a fresh perspective often alters your appreciation of it and making good use of your back catalogue can ease the creative burden.
revisiting older work can help to see it in a different light
The same philosophy can also be applied much more broadly, to the intended audience. The same shifts in mood and inspiration can absolutely alter someone's appreciation of a piece of art and ever changing interests may make a once irrelevant image really quite pertinent. There is also the simple fact that, because of the nature of the environment in which it was shared, a lot of potentially interested viewers may simply not see or notice an image the first time it appears. Finding a new use for an existing image under different topics and trends or as part of a collective theme will almost certainly help it to find a new audience.
the power of your existing work to inspire yourself and others should never be overlooked
Understandably, this can lead to concerns over contributions being perceived as a lazy re-hash of the same work and it is absolutely fair to say that the overuse of images will dilute interest. The truth of the matter is though, that image-based art should not be considered single-use and is certainly not disposable. Rather, it is about conveying creativity and inspiration to people at the right time and occasionally just letting them see something pleasing. Good work deserves to be seen; it is obvious that art galleries would never consider displaying a piece for merely a few hours or minutes before storing it safely in an archive and there is no reason that this should happen with digital art.
Inspiration is the key to all creativity and the power of your existing work to inspire yourself and others should never be overlooked. Whether it is through revisiting a favourite moment or particular feeling, reaching out to new audiences or learning from past mistakes, every image is worth more than a single post. Don't be afraid to let your art work for you.
Thank you for reading,