Today I had someone call me a “failed artist”. Before you get all irate on my behalf, I’m not offended by this. I’d rather be what this person defines as a failed artist than a successful…I don’t know, pretty much anything else. This person’s definition of a failure is anyone who has the audacity to share less than perfection with the world. All of you creators hear me when I say, we never attain perfection. If we’re waiting on that, no one would ever get to view anything, and that would be a tragedy.
Every piece is a constant work in progress, at least in our minds. The amount of fantastic art left mouldering in someone’s attic, office, or under the bed must be phenomenal, because presenting your art to the world takes bravery. The first attempts are never easy or even good, and I got a reminder on recent trip to Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Even the great masters needed practice sketches, warm ups, and failed attempts before their masterpieces came to life. I’m not aspiring to be John Singer Sargent here, but seeing his preliminary sketches for one of his paintings along with those of other world renowned artists was like turning on a lightbulb. Everyone practices. No one ever starts out perfect, wonderful or even good. It doesn’t matter. Make art.
Learn a new skill? Show it off! Got a new camera? Post your pictures! Picked up a pencil or a paintbrush for the first time since you were a kid? I want to see it!
Here’s the thing. Too many people live their lives trapped in “I’m not good enough to do that”. So what? Do it anyway. (Disclaimer: we’re talking art here, people, not death defying stunts. Leave those to the professionals.) Then do it again, and again, and again.
I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a failed artist. There are only those who decide not to try.
Show me what you’re made of. I’d love to see your work too. Post pics or links in the comments.
‘Til next time,