I have made a few observations about failure recently that I would like to share.....
Observation number two, failure can, and should be repeated. Because as the old saying goes, ‘it’s not failure, it’s unfinished success”. We cannot expect to only fail once, learn from it, and always achieve success the second time around. The artist’s whole life consists of learning from failures and growing with each wrong step.
Now, before I depress you too much, here is observation number three, or I guess conclusion number one. If we are to say that failure is just unfinished success, and that every failure is just a step toward that success, then it seems that we artists have a different word for failure altogether. We call it process. Whether we view our latest work in the light of success or failure, the silver lining is, that it is all part of the growing artistic process.
Which pushes right on to observation number four. Although I suppose I can’t call it that, because it was someone else’s observation so I guess I’ll have to call these next two quotes discoveries one and two.
Discovery one: “I’d rather make a mistake by something new and it not working than not stepping out at all.” Cameron Strang, CEO of RELEVANT.
Discovery two: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” Sir Ken Robinson, creative and cultural education leader, Great Britian.
These two men have the right idea when it comes to failure, and if I were to dare to add one more thing myself, it would be this…
Failure as an artist, whether taken lightly, harshly, positively, negatively, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or whatever it may be, failure will never be what defines us. Because the Christian artist knows that at the end of the day, it is not his work which defines him Rather, he finds his identity in the eyes of God, where he is loved, cherished, supported, and at home.
Go ahead, screw up.