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Feeling shame over needing help

By PastelPetals · Jul 4, 2020 · ·
  1. I am still in highschool (hopefully graduating end of 2020-2021 school year) and I need to take summer classes. I am taking a photography class. There is an assignment where we had to take many pictures of features of good pictures (lines,shape,texture,positive and negative space,repetition, and contrast) even after being told what to do 10 times I still messed up and I wasted an hour on pictures I could not use. It ended up that my mother had to help me for over an hour. I would take pictures and she would tell quiz me on the features she would also take pictures and ask me. That was helpful as most repetition helps me learn but I felt bad needed my mom to explain shapes to me...well I know shapes but often if they said line the I would zoom into a detail that was a line or line things up then take a picture but that was not what they wanted. I was so confused. I want to feel smart and capable as whatever my teachers and transition team say but until I know how to see shapes the right way I think that's out of my reach.


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  1. Els
    I went in artschool just after highschool but didn't last long, each time we had exercises to do, and each morning we showed our works, and 90% of mornings, mine was pointed at to the whole classroom : "this is exactly what you guys shouldn't be doing".

    I don't care. It was hard on my self esteem, but I don't care.

    I also did great works and got the best notes in other areas and subjects. I wouldn't have been able to do great works without my different approach that doesn't answer the subject and is "wrong". It's my strength.
    I don't care about failing the exercises if my overall works and what interests me are already good in the end.

    Get the knowledge, but don't think you're not smart because of that. I'm smart, I don't have a low IQ, I have a different understanding. Does it bother other people? I don't care. I can learn stuffs that are useful for my artwork, but I can't change how I perceive the world and understand or misunderstand some stuffs.

    Really, try to understand what they say because it might be useful, but move on to your personal work and make it interesting on your own. Don't try to comform everything, you'd loose what makes your work special and interesting and what makes you stand out of the crowd.

    Could you tell more about your issue with understanding shapes? Or show with pictures what's going on? Tell what are the concepts they talked about?
      PastelPetals likes this.
  2. Els
    Can you show and/or formulate where is your problem with shapes + what they're expecting of you? I might be able to help, who knows.
    But don't focus on what the majority of people do and understand. To be honest, if you're a visual person, I know we see better and more accurately and have a much better observation than most people. Don't think that because they understand a concept they're better at it. It's wrong.

    Other remark, to my mind the teachers should adapt to their student. Not the opposite.

    And by the way, I don't see that lining things up doesn't correspond to "line". IT DOES. I'm sorry, they're wrong and close minded to tell you it's outside of the subject. It's not what they wait for, maybe, but we don't care about what they wait for, you're free and strictly speaking lining things up answers their subject. It's logically inside their subject. Really, don't think it's worthless. Other people would have had different reactions.
      PastelPetals likes this.
    1. PastelPetals
      After a few more days I am realizing it's less about the shapes and more confusion/taking things to literally. Yesterday we were supposed to take pictures of one object from above,below,straight on, and from a tilted angle. I processed that incorrectly and I was taking pictures of a wheelbarrow and I took pictures of the top,bottom, and sides of it. I was told that was wrong and it was explained to me but by now I have forgotten it but I did not do what was required.
      Els likes this.
    2. PastelPetals
      It seems this class needs me to shift to perspectives and understand things I really struggle to comprehend. I am hopefully getting more help going forward but when taking pictures I don't do it "correct" or know the right term for what I am doing "correctly" but I like the way it looks. Sometimes you don't fully understand where your shortcomings lie until other people define the parameters.
      Els likes this.
    3. Els
      I would understand the same for the exercise you describe, would have done the same than what you did with the wheelbarrow. I don't really get it either...

      Can you ask them to show you directly through pictures (for example older students exercises) what they mean and expect? Maybe through seeing examples of what they're waiting for you'll be more able to understand what they mean?
      Sara Mc and PastelPetals like this.
  3. Els
    Be proud of your work and your perception of the world. Make it appear through your pictures. Don't try to lessen it and make your world smaller. Build it more, strengthen it, be proud that you ended up having a different result than others and than what expected. It's beautiful.

    Google Image Result for https://i.pinimg.com/originals/65/51/06/6551061fbb003453ff4616709facb410.jpg

    Here are one of the beautiful things that someone lining things up ended up doing.
    Do it more. Please don't stop your personal and original work because it doesn't fit. It doesn't matter. It's great. Your understanding, your approach, your perception is great and way more interesting than fitting in the box. Please don't fit, in photography and arts especially. Don't try to fit and don't think your work is worthless because it doesn't fit.
    Encourage that. Go further even if people tell you it's "not right". Go on. Take the knowledge and the stuffs you can learn to improve, but go your own way.
      PastelPetals likes this.
  4. Els
    I would have done the same, zoom into a detail and show the line or line things up. I would also end up with a different work than others. Be proud.

    1) It's not your fault
    2) Give value to your orignal work. Your work might not be what people are waiting for. Your work might be different. That's great. That's amazing. Cherish that and don't comform yourself. This makes you original, makes your work personal, makes your work interesting, and makes your work something that other people cannot do. That's AMAZING, no matter what people tell you. Some people will be annoyed, and others will see that it's very precious.
    3) Your different understanding of the world is worth being shown through your photography. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes for the exercise. It doesn't make your work less valuable and less interesting. Look at things with an external eye : we don't care about the exercise. Learn what you've got to learn to make your work richer through the exercise, but go your own way and do the stuffs that you're spontanously interested in. The exercise is just an exercise, don't let it make you feel like your work is worthless. It's not.

    You ARE smart. Your different understanding is GREAT.
    Learn what people teach you but stick to your own world and personality and originality. It's rare, it's precious, it's interesting, and it's wonderful to show that through your photography. Don't let people make you feel that having a different understanding is something inferior to the majority. It's what makes your work unique. It's your strenght.
      Sara Mc and PastelPetals like this.