It’s okay if you suck – we all do sometimes

Feb 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

It’s okay if you suck – we all do sometimes

Feb 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One of the things common to all creatives, even the most successful ones, is that we all have doubts. Doubts in about our abilities, that we can’t stand up to the job people expect of us. And those doubts can often turn into an inner monologue something of the lines of “You suck. You should just quit and get a real job”. But getting over it is easy. You just have to let yourself suck, as this video from Peter McKinnon and the amazingly talented Stefan Kunz illustrates.

YouTube video

When we’re just starting out with something new, we often really do suck. But that’s ok, nobody’s expected to be able to know and do everything from day one. Just keep creating, keep sucking, and keep going until you no longer suck. But even when we’re more experienced, we still sometimes feel this way, though. It happens to all of us, and it can happen on almost every project we do.

If we’re not pushing ourselves, we feel like others are tearing ahead of us. If we do push ourselves and try something new, we screw up and make mistakes, so think we suck. But those mistakes are how we learn, how we improve, and become better than we were.

So, give yourself room to suck. Let yourself make mistakes. It’s totally ok.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “It’s okay if you suck – we all do sometimes”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    True, this is how I try to motivate myself all the time. Just be sure to surround yourself with “creative” people who know what and why or at least have the ability to give you some advice (even if they are not into your field of art) without being ridiculously critical – otherwise, you will feel yourself being a REAL fail.

  2. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Seriously, can’t wait for the trend to wear those flat billed ball hats to fade away. They look ridiculous on grown up heads. It’s like a little baby wearing a bonnet.