Monday, January 14, 2013

The Failure Challenge - DAY 1

Lately I feel like I've hit a wall with my sketching.  I find myself all up in my head with all kinds of negative voices while I draw.  I don't like this.  I think a lot of it has to do with not doing improv anymore.  When I was doing improv regualrly it gave me the opportunity to really publicly fail but then have to get back up and try again.  It also always encouraged me to make mistakes and then invest in those mistakes to turn them into gold.  I miss improv.  With the craziness of my travel/work schedule over the past year it has been impossible to get back into it.  The closest I got was when I moved to SF and I thought I would be there for a while.  I emailed the local improv school and was all set to start classes there.  I was REALLY excited.  And then we all know what happened next.
I know I will find my way back to improv... it's just a matter of when.  I actually found a pretty great school here in Vancouver but they ask for you to commit to a certain number of months and at this point I really can't commit since I may be going back down to California at some point.  And I wouldn't want to leave anyone hanging if I had to bail on an improv group.
So it's time to take trying and failing and succeeding back into my own hands.  I will begin using this blog more for its intended purpose.  When I started it back in 2010 it was so I could get back to drawing.  I chose cafe sketching and I posted the results publicly.  No matter how awful they were at times.  Because the point of this blog was not to post beautiful drawings.  It was to post, to share, and to not be afraid of showing people that sometimes I make bad art.  I knew that if I could accept the fact that I failed sometimes then I could take the fear and the power away from failure.  Whether this meant someone would come across my blog and NEVER return because they were so highly unimpressed with its contents was and is not for me to worry about.  The main focus on my mind is just; am I trying?  Am I making?  And  posting on this blog is a way to say YES.  I know that as long as I keep producing art, good or bad it is always a step forward.  A step forward in the education of myself and who I am as an artist and a person.  To figure that out is my main objective in life.  I'm truly not trying to impress anyone.  I'm just making this a space, my own space, where I can go to and accept myself for the good and the bad.  I think everyone needs that safe space in order to grow.
So with that being said here is my challenge to myself.  For the next 30 posts starting from now I will not be posting any cafe sketches (although I will still be cafe sketching every day).  I may sketch and post ANYTHING else, including household objects, landscapes, or just things from my imagination.  I need to get comfortable with failing again and this is the best way I know how.  If anyone wants to join me on this challenge of 30 days of failure I would love it.  Thats not to say you should expect to fail everyday.  It's more in the spirit of - Do something everyday that normally you would not do/be afraid to do because you think you might fail or not be good at it.
But that's just the first part of the challenge.  The second is to look at your failure head on.  Look at it and accept that this is a part of you right now.  It may not always be this way but right now it is and that is OK.  If you're feeling extra adventurous tell someone about how you failed!  Have a laugh about it or have a serious talk about how it made you feel.  Do whatever you want with it because it is your failure.  Let's do this.

A gouache painting from life of the chair in our living room

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