Fan Mail

12/29/2011 02:31 pm ET

A famous poet once said, "I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence..." Ok, that was Drake, but the statement feeds my point. I feel like I'm continually encountering the fruits of overconfidence and hype. Our culture has created an epidemic that connects us to people and places around the world, while simultaneously building unmerited perspectives and beliefs.

With the Internet, everyone is a celebrity; and playing in paint makes you the next legendary artist. I've read somewhere, "Rog Walker is the greatest photographer of our time." Now, I like some of my work, but that's just false. I appreciate all the love I receive but I'm not there yet (not even close). The mark of excellence cannot be followers or hype. We must judge based on the depth and quality of the artistic expression, especially over time, and set benchmarks that truly represent excellence. What we fail to realize is, this pattern of praising hype will only result in trendy periods as opposed to iconic legacies.

Everyone is a designer/photographer/artist/iPad app maker nowadays. The greatest service you can do for all parties involved is to humble yourself. Submit to your craft, commit to quality work, and allow the fruits of your expression to justify the hype.

Subject: Kat Gabrielle
Written & Shot by Rog Walker