Failure

What is failure in art ? How can an artist fail ?  Isn’t the very nature of art to create something that did not exist before ?  If you create it, how does it fail ?  Who has the right to tell you, the creator, that it is not worthy, it is not art ?  It is your art, your expression, your vision. Perhaps it is good, meaningful art, perhaps not. Maybe it is correct, technically proficient, aesthetically in proportion and maybe it is anything but, because that it your decision as an artist. Perhaps the world responds to your work, perhaps they don’t.  If you ARE an artist, you will continue to produce regardless.

What is failure for an artist ?  Failure is not trying consummately.  Failure is not working harder than anyone else to learn your craft.  Failure is being afraid to fail so you paralyze yourself as opposed to challenge yourself to grow.  If you are afraid to fail, you already have. Failure is not picking yourself up when you hit a wall. Failure is not attempting to creatively dig yourself out of the hole you are in because you were trying to be creative in the first place ! Failure is also allowing yourself to be defeated by insecurity, criticism, or neglect.  If one keeps experimenting with their art, there really is no failure, just different levels of success.

And you know when you fail within yourself as an artist.  You know when you could’ve pursued another angle, shot at a different time of day, put on a different lens, or switched cameras, but didn’t.  You know when you could’ve explored more.  You know when you could’ve researched more, if you researched your subject matter at all.  All of this relates to your personal work ethic, level of discipline, and creative finesse that you extend into your work.

So, what is the opposite of failure ?  Never giving up.  Try it sometime.  You just might succeed.

“… Breakdowns, breakdowns, everybody gets ‘em.  But what are ya goin’

to do about it, that’s what I want to know…”   Paul Simon

“… Fall down seven times, get up eight.”  … Japanese proverb

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