Transitions and failure
It was bound to happen, as it happended in the past.
A night where everything seems to come to a screaming halt and I smash my face into a creative wall. Painful, soul-sucking, depressing as all hell... Suddenly lost in my lack of self-confidence I felt adrift in my own head. Which direction was the right one? What color went where? Was what I was doing anything? Or just a steaming pile of crap?
Failure, or at least the perception of failure, is painful AF. Staring at the paintings I had done, last night, and again this morning again, I felt that oppressive weight. You know the one I’m talking about. Is this my limit? Am I only as good as what I’ve done in the past? Will I ever get better? Should I just give up and do something different? Or maybe hide in what I did in the past and stick to that?
So far I’ve been really lucky.
My strings of what I consider success have been long and bountiful. That’s probably because I’m at the very beginning of my artistic journey and the basic level stuff is easy to pick up and do. But, there are only so many low hanging fruits to grab before I gotta work a bit harder...and by a bit, I mean a lot.
It is very, very hard to look at what I did and see the light in it. But, I need to. Each failure is a roadmap, or at least a sign on how to proceed. In each of the paintings I did there are countless lessons. The potential ideas from my mistakes, the techniques that were suddenly revealed to me by accident, that’s the whole reason I’m doing what I’m doing. I can’t expect everything to be awesome. I need to expect some in-your-face fuck-ups as I explore.
The way I explain this sudden feeling of failure is that I’m shifting gears.
As I try new stuff, of course there’s going to be a bit of grinding. I comfort myself with that, and also knowing that all of what I considered failures can be painted over if I want to. That my mistakes, my lessons-in-waiting, are not permanent. That’s true of most things in life. Not to make what I’m trying to get at too all-encompassing, but, it’s true.
I know some people may be like, d’uh. That’s life man. The pain of failure, lessons being hard, getting better a process... But the reason I’m writing what some might think to be obvious is because it’s seems to not be that obvious. I find that people just expect to be great at so much without the pain of failure, and that when they do start to experience that discomfort, they give up because they feel they’ll never get better or that it’s just not worth the effort.
I’m not going to jump into the consequences of almost limitless technology on society and the media driven perception of ‘overnight success’
But, it’s definitely had an affect on what people think the path to being great at something looks like. I know this hiccup is only a 3 or a 4 on the Richter scale, and there are sure to be 8 and 9’s to come...screaming matches with my canvas, things burning, and possibly sharp objects intersecting with ongoing projects...
Remember, real progress can be really painful. You just gotta fight through it to see what’s on the other side. The alternative, giving up, is also a possibility. The choice is yours :) Well, in this case, mine. Tonight I’ll be back at it tonight trying to figure out more stuff fighting through whatever emotions come up.
Be well and thanks for stopping by!
The one I like from last night