Not everything is about everyone else......
Sometimes it has to be about you....even if they don't like it.
And sometimes it's just about the art and evolution.
One thing I've learned as an artist is that people often think of you as public property - the same for any artist, actor, musician, dancer, director.....The audience wants to have a say in your work, in your growth, because they like what they see and they want more.....of what they want....
That's not a bad thing.
As an artist however, I have a responsibility to keep my work as an artist genuine and authentic - even when it's a commission for someone else's idea, the work has to come from me, from within. And when I change and grow, so does the work.
Commitment is everything in art - you have to bring all of yourself to the party or go home. I've never had trouble with that, given that I love my work. You also have to accept that each lesson learned is going to take you further away from where you started - and you have to let that go, so that you can go forward. And you have to accept that not all of the audience is prepared for you to do that. And they might be upset if you do.
The end of 2009 saw some significant changes for the direction of zeddess arts, and there were folks who weren't content to let that change occur. They didn't like the new work, didn't like the change in style and content, and many voiced their desire for me to go back to the old way.
Sadly, that can't happen. Not sad for me, because I'm totally excited about the new paths opening up for me, for the art, for the opportunities I'm facing.....but sad, because I won't make the kind of art those folk want anymore. And that's a very personal thing for them, they liked having 'their artist', and they can't have that now.
Integrity doesn't come from being a crowd-pleaser though - it comes from following the philosophy and discipline that you have always maintained, and while the work has changed direction, I have not changed in my commitment to my art. I still believe that without progression and evolution, you cannot grow as an artist or a person, that without intensity and passion, you cannot create honestly, and without the courage to stand up to the crowd and say "It is what it is" you cannot believe in your work.
And it is what it is.