“Whether the works that I’ve done are successful or not is not only up to other people, but myself as well, so I am always dealing with doubts and lack of confidence. But I’ve learned to deal with these moments of insecurity. For example, if I’m among a crowd as they look at my work and I can just tell that they didn’t like it, I talk myself into seeing through it. I remind myself that sometimes, people’s views are not completely correct, and that it’s okay not to please everyone and to have critical feedback.
“I get rejected, I get disappointed, and I feel like I fail constantly. I think that’s partially because of the multiple different types of work that I do—from film to performance to photography—and it’s really not possible to do everything very well. It’s natural that there are going to be works that are weaker. So, I am always reminding myself that it’s only human to fail, and to not make masterpieces all the time.
“I was surprised at a public screening of my film recently where it seemed like it was going well, but then this one person got up (it wasn’t the first time this has happened) and he started to attack me—for the film, for what I’ve done, for what I represent. At first, I was shocked and devastated, but then I found myself really rise to the occasion; I defended myself very well. His attack was really good in a way; he challenged me and made me re-examine myself and where I stand as an artist.
“Sometimes when you reach really low, in terms of your self-esteem and confidence, it’s a good excuse to re-examine your work, to start again. I always say to myself, when you fall down, help yourself up, because there’s nothing good about just remaining on the ground. You have to experience low moments in order to really appreciate the higher ones.”