The development of technology and the social media age has given rise to a new form of art and allowed us to see the world like never before, because of technology we’re able to see the world through the eyes of another – and their lens’. Camera’s and video – as well as the internet, have given a foundational platform to many who are able to form a brand, share their work and the best of what they do through these mediums.
This industry of ‘new media’ is relatively close-knit as a budding creator in my own right, I look to many individuals and am motivated, inspired or proud to be within this industry and know so many influential and impactful individuals, from Aki Ang to Jesse James, Logan Dodds, Hannah Rogers and Adam Bryce – the faces behind the creation of new media are rich in their respective colours, the reality, however, is that the industry is saturated and those who stay around and succeed are firstly those prepared to hustle really really hard and secondly those who create beautiful yet dynamic content. All of the names I mentioned above do just that and more, their respective work concretes the amazement of the new media industry an industry I feel honoured to be a part of with each of them – I can only hope to be as talented.
If you were to ask me for one name within the industry of ‘new media’ that truly inspired me, I would say that person is Josh Shaw. Shaw is currently on our shores, touring our nation with his partner – he is a photographer. As someone who hasn’t travelled around New Zealand a whole lot, I think his pictures are beautiful, but I think what’s more about Josh is his ethos behind what he creates.
Shaw and his partner have a fierce belief and confidence in what they create this doesn’t mean they don’t respect the opinions of others or make adjustments when necessary, they do. However, they equally are able to say “these were our motives and we believe in what we have made, you don’t have to believe in it but, we do” and as a creator, being able to say that is hard.
At least it was for me.
I entered this industry only two years ago because I loved it – and equally because I needed an escape. I was in the middle of rehabilitation, unable to move a whole lot – and so I created a platform as a way of tethering myself to the real world, as I practiced writing – and people read my words I realised that I was actually good at this, and what you’ve got to understand is that I live a life where I am not always in control, I can’t control the fact that I am in limbo waiting for funding, I can’t control the fact that I struggle to do up the buttons on my shirt – I can’t control the fact that my legs don’t work properly.
All of that wasn’t my choice and so when I found writing and ‘new media’ it was something that I could control and so I poured everything into it and continue to do that today, except I now do it across multiple industries, because I am able to do that – I have grown, and worked really hard to do that.
Some people don’t like it when you do that, a person who I don’t know who is an adult – apparently. Told me that my growth and development made me egotistical. This was my first encounter with feedback like this – and I didn’t know what to do. I firstly thought, maybe she is right and I should go back to how it was before. Whether you work in industry or not you can relate to this on some level, because it is human nature to want to please people, we want to be liked – and when you’re online there is pressure to please, and you have to ask yourself, is it worth my time – pleasing strangers, because if I believe in what I am doing – then at least some other people will too.
On the same day that I was dealing with this inner turmoil Josh sent me a message its preface told me to keep going, and so I did. That doesn’t mean I am as fearless as Shaw, but I am getting there – Creators all have individualised content, if you took my heart out and turned it into a form of literacy you’d be reading at least one aspect of every article I have written and looking at everything I have ever worked on. This is what I have control over and I am prepared to work incredibly hard for it because I want to help people and do good – but I have learned, from Josh that doing good and being respectful, doesn’t mean cowering to the wishes of other people – especially strangers.
The soldiers within the ‘New Media Army’ put ourselves out there every day – and sometimes we’re subject to a troll or five, but most of the time we push through (I literally do) and are able to create content that we love, that we hope will do something for you too. At the end of the day, in this industry and in all the others I will find my footing in I am saying something I want to say in the way that only I can say it, and I have realised that I owe it to myself to be confident within that.
You owe this to yourself too, whatever industry you are in. Be respectful and understanding of others, but don’t feel like you need to compromise your vision for a reason you do not believe in – because that’s just sinking and you have the potential to rise.