This is a new kind of post for me, straying away from my usual topics such as new art works and the process of making them. This post is about the F word, otherwise known as Failure.
Over the past few days I have been reflecting on that word and what it means…
The first place I encountered the essence of the word was at the blog spot Beautiful Hello, in her post “Things I am afraid to tell you: confessions of an artist.” It turns out a community of bloggers have gotten together to promote reality. In other words, make a conscious effort to keep it real, show some vulnerability…depict real life and some of its challenges rather than the presentation of reality that can be readily found in the blogging world. Her post is honest and heart-felt. It reflects on the days that we do not feel so successful or creative as artists or people for that matter, days that we have all experienced. I think it’s great to share those days, it’s human, it’s real and it gives the reader and writer some acknowledgement that their not so successful days are normal and experienced by all.
The second place I witnessed the word was in the documentary film Undefeated by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin. I went to a documentary film festival this weekend in Leuven with some good friends and we decided to see that film as we all have an affection for sports movies that depict the underdog. It’s a film that chronicles the season of an inner-city Memphis football team. It portrays the successes and failures of the team and everyone associated with it. It should be seen by everyone. Maybe you don’t like underdog sports movies, but this movie is more about life rather than sports. Here is the trailer for it.
Finally, being in a bit of a creative slump myself this weekend, I decided to spend much of my time learning more about starting a art/craft business rather than miserably trying to force out anther artwork. It’s the direction I want to go in when I leave Brussels.
I came across this video on Etsy by artist and craftsman Becky Johnson. The video is about an hour-long, which is why I could not embed it here, but it is well worth watching if you are interested in being a full-time artist. The basic premise of the video is how to diversify in order to survive financially in the craft/art world. Becky gives some tips on the ins and outs of selling your wares, but what I thought was refreshing was her take on success and failure. Our society determines much of our success by the amount of money we earn and in this consumer society failure is not appreciated. The message conveyed in the video is that based on that determinant, most full time craftsmen would be considered unsuccessful. However her point is that there is “an economy beyond money that we have to understand” and part of that economy is investing in people in your community…which is an important part of the making things by hand culture. Wouldn’t it be great if we all adopted that outlook?
I have failed at plenty of things in life both significant and insignificant, my driver’s test, art projects, plenty of exams, owning a home, being married, and friendships. Despite how painful and costly failure can be, it has always brought more opportunity, a new job, a loving relationship, new friends. So after I have shed my tears and reflected about my bad decisions, and lamented over the money I lost, I like to grab failure by the throat and give it a big F*** you, learn from it and move on.
Take care and thanks for reading.