Deveski Opinions No. 2 – Professional Jealousy
Lately, the beacon for hate and jealousy becomes stronger by the day. Whether it’s family and friends, disgruntled people who are bad at what they do, or people who use their imagination to over-exaggerate what you really do, the social media platform has turned creative professionals against each other, in what can only be described as a “Virtual Pissing Contest”. Being in the creative industry, the professional jealousy effects are ten fold. You are not only competing against people in your own field, but essentially every type of artist. We all crave that holy grail of being able to call ourselves, “A Self Sufficient Artist”, and that is something that is taken very seriously. But most of the time for every creative, our lives are somewhat more like the picture below. Exhibit A
Jealousy wouldn’t be considered “healthy”, but it’s normal. Let me say that again: JEALOUSY IS A NORMAL AND EXPECTED REACTION TO LIFE EVENTS AND RELATIONSHIPS. You can probably not stop yourself from feeling jealous. You can, however, take steps to ameliorate the damage it inflicts upon your life and psyche and the damage that you inflict upon others. It is far worse now, psychologists from around the globe are highly concerned about the ramification of “Facebook Green Monster Syndrome” and the long term effects it has on the fabric of society. FGMS has been driven by the over-sensualised information and media that is flooding people’s news feeds. Glorified photos of couples being crazy in love, babies and happy families, holiday goers dancing at Time Square, or any other form of filtered rich media that makes the people that see it go, “mehhhhhhh”.
People have learnt to market their lives as if it was a movie. That isn’t the real story but. The couple never Instagram-ed (not a word) themselves punching on just 2 minutes earlier about who is their pick for making it past the Blind Auctions Stage Of The Voice. Nor did the parents film their baby go on a 9 hour screaming marathon before performing a Tara Reid puking session all over the lounge room. The New York Bound holiday-goer didn’t tweet about getting mugged, stabbed and having poop thrown at them for, “Being another stupid cheesy fucking tourist for getting a Facebook Photo at Time Square”. Nothing is ever how it seems on social media. This post is another example, it will most likely get 2 views cause there will be people who will be too busy being narcissistic about how their hair extensions, getting ready to take a photo of their ‘very obvious cleavage’ before putting a caption on it saying, “Going to work”.
Alright, back on track. Of all these types of jealousies, “Professional Jealousy” is somehow the most shameful and private. All professions have their rockstars and haters. Most people have been both sides of this coin at one time or another. I definitely suffer from jealousy when I see the documentary for Christina Aguilera’s “8 Stage Tanning Process”. I watch it and cry, wishing deep down I was the same shade of a traffic cone. But that’s just me, I was obsessed with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory when I was kid (Oompa Loompa Reference… Get it??)
How do people deal with professional jealousy? Do you say “Don’t be jealous of me because it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I actually ate dry toast with a side of dry toast last night for dinner.” Then from another point of view, what’s it like having people gush at you, inviting to go exotic cheese and hammock making parties, meeting new industry people and networking like Jason Biggs at a, “Having Sex With Pies” Convention? It is pretty amazing. I have a lot of fun being apart of new and exciting professional opportunities and experiences in my life, I made the decision that I’m not going to diminish them just to make people feel better so that they don’t feel jealous. I worked my ass off to get where I am. It was part luck, part natural talent and my ability to be able to talk in 19 fake languages that allowed me to be in this position. There was also a lot of risk, life scarifies, and having to admit and move on from failures from sticking my neck out and working stupidly long hours. But the majority of it was good old fashioned ass busting. My cousin slash business partner and I slugged it out for almost a decade, so low at one point we were shaving poodles in order to pay for our goon and PS3 addiction.
After all the psychology of ‘Professional Jealousy’ out of the way, its time to announce the big truth. Professional Jealousy IS A GOOD THING!!!
The way to look at it objectively is this. If your natural talents and hard work warrants enough attention for someone to get annoyed and jealous over, you know you are on the right track. If other creatives in your industry get angry at you for no reason, and/or get annoyed at you behind your back, then it is most likely that you are producing a product and/or have talents they truly envy. In the creative landscape, there isn’t that many signs to indicate that what you are doing is correct. This one however, is a definite sign. A big fat neon one. But without knowing it, the people who are suffering the jealousy are also on the right track. People who have gotten themselves into the ‘professional jealousy’ carpark, will all of a sudden gain massive momentum, and I’ll explain why. They now have a ‘mental yardstick’ there to build towards, and will make them work harder in order to rid themselves of the horrible feeling ‘jealousy’ brings to an individual. This is not always the case, depending on the original motivation tendencies of the individual. Whether they use it to their advantage, or wallow in self-pity, its definitely a grey area. This is the main reason why I decided to write this article because I have seen this happen too many times to many talented creatives over the last decade.
About 2 years ago when I first moved back to Newcastle, and started shooting fashion photography here, I managed to rub other photographers the wrong way straight off the bat. I published a Note on Facebook with one anonymous photographer, who took it the wrong way that my fashion photos were attracting alot of positive attention from local models and make-up artist. Exhibit B:
(Article from Joel Devereux’s Personal Facebook, May 2012)
Conversation With ‘Bikini On Beach’ Photographer – A David Thorne Moment
After starting regular email conversation with someone who is now my favorite fashion photographer of all time, Charles Lucima, he recommended me to start a profile on Model Mayhem and start trying to collaborate with fashion designer, stylists, and models for a great way to meet people in the industry, and for a bit of fun. Within a week in, and establishing very strongly I don’t want to shoot Zoo Mag bikini rubbish, but rather cool crazy stuff, my profile got bombarded by people who obviously are completely jack of the whole, “Wanna get naked?”… But at the same time, there was a negative effect. This is what happened:
Deveski on Model Mayhem: “As my profile has been bombarded because I don’t have a desire to shoot ‘Zoo Magazine’ bikini on beach shots, I will have to put a halter for the time being on any request from models and fashion designers as I am still trying to get through all the shoot ideas and requests.. thanks’
Anonymous – 05/21/12 7:02 AM
Dickhead, stop filling peoples heads with this hipster shit and go back to Byron Bay with all the other homosexual metros and take photos of teacups.
Deveski – 05/21/12 9:18 AM
Actually you are right. Because I get a boner just from shooting daisies and rusty bikes, I am thinking being in Newcastle might be too much for my libido. When you bought your camera, were you disappointed that the camera house didn’t supply you with a bonus fleshlight?
Anonymous – 05/21/12 10:10 AM
Shut the fuck up dickhead, how about I get a bunch of my mates to come and escort you out of the city. Don’t fuck with me, you’ll regret it.
Deveski – 05/21/12 11:48 AM
Haha that is funny. When you tell girls they are hot and you want to shoot them naked, do they find you funny also? Unfortunately if you saw me in the street, you would mistake me for Andre The Giant, and I would whack you to death with a bikini top filled with vigara and $2 coins. But I have decided not to argue with you and decide to agree with you. Is there any chance you could do a shoot with me, I was thinking you in a bikini in King Edward Park? I was thinking flash and natural light.
Anonymous – 05/21/12 12:01 PM
Fuck off fag
Deveski – 05/21/12 12:02 AM
No dramas, my friend. Good luck with the wank bank.
In essence, if you are team player, you have to realise that some people out there don’t have the self-belief to put themselves on the line to be a team player also. My advice is to concentrate in being the best you can be, and it will rub off on the ones that struggle to believe in themselves, and they will eventually come to the party. Jealousy is an awful emotion, and we are all susceptible to it. But if we own it, and use it as a tool to grow and connect, then we all will be better professionals then we could have ever imagined.
Tags: creative industries, joel devereux, newcastle nsw, photography, professional, professional jealousy, workplace