Thursday, December 16, 2010

Growth through failure.

A recent string of conversations with my friend Austin has inspired me to revisit my blog and give it the proper attention that I've denied it for years. I create personal artwork all the time that never leaves my desk (or desktop) because I tend to shy away from posting it publicly. The honest truth being that I often don't consider most of what I do to be very good.. which brings me to revisit something else.

I am reminded of the values from a wonderful lesson... to fail everyday.

If there is anything that I have learned to be true it is the importance of not being afraid of failure. It's just too stressful to expect excellence from yourself all the time. I almost lost my mind in college trying to out do myself with every assignment, one after another. Then one day I let it go. I loosened up. I starting allowing myself to make mistakes. Lots of mistakes! I found that my failures were not failure at all, they were lessons that allowed me to make progress at a rate I had never achieved before. I began to welcome failure and embrace the growth that naturally came with it. Success was simply just a side effect of that growth.

My drawings as of late suffer both stylistically and content wise, as if I have been stuck in the same "sketchbook", so to say, since graduating college. I am ready to grow again! Therefore, I'm going to make good on one of my New Year's resolutions early and start posting more personal work to this blog. You'll see it all, the good, the bad, and the downright awful... because without failure there would be no success!

An abandoned illustration of a playful tiger cub?

Much more fail where that came from!




Hi Cat,

Nice inspirational words :) and great idea. I believe there is no bad art. It always lies somewhere between good and the excellent. Art can never be bad.

Looking forward to more posts from you.

josh said...

Great post!

Ethan said...

I just killed myself doing a Menu/Stationary/Logo/Branding assignment for a difficult professor. Today he said VERY negative and hurtful things about my project. I've been down all day. Your blog post just let me know that I will get better and better. I just need to learn from my mistakes. Thanks a ton!

Meg Park said...

This is some good advice, I feel I need to do the same :< I've been stuck in a 'this isn't good enough!' funk for months. It's so unhealthy! Do you do personal work outside of the office? That's where I struggle the most - trying to find that motivation!

Andy J. Latham said...

I alwaays feel miserable after drawing something bad. I envy you for learning to embrace failure. I wish I knew how to do it.

Slinky3d said...

Thanks to post this, it made me to open my eyes and there's no failure without winning, whatever kind of winning it is.

Failure is important to grow, and I hope I will, one day, be as good as you. I will doodle more often, it's important, as Walt Stanchfield said.

Keep posting doodles, it'S very interesting studying them, you know, I personally love to study others sketch and doodles, seeing the "how".

Have a nice day!

irongoddess said...

Hurrah for failure! I know, intellectually, that failure is integral to success, but it's so much harder to apply something than to acknowledge it.

I heard something a couple months ago (I think it was a Jack Kornfield podcast? maybe?) that letting go doesn't mean walking away from something, but rather letting it be whatever it is, no judgment.

Looking forward to seeing more examples of you letting go of your artwork, in every way!

Siany said...

I look forward to seeing your artwork! Someone told me that with each sketch something is learned and improved upon even if you cant see it at the time. I'm also trying to keep drawing even if I suspect its not very good xxx

Jeff said...

Great post Cat! I can't wait to see more of your art work!

Daniel Gonzales said...

Very cool cat, post once a week, that's the pace I found that was comfortable for me :) I want to see aaaalllll the bad drawings you can make.