30 Days of “I …”

While talking with my lovely, and insightful, wife about my previous post about fear and failure we ventured deeper and tried to root out the source of this fear. It is in my mind set that interprets and amplifies the negative. This negativity undercuts my confidence, which feeds my fear, which keeps me in a defensive state achieving little. This also gets in the way of some ‘basic’ conversation skills like “I am” or “I believe” statements.

For some of you who have been here for awhile you may remember an earlier attempt at turning this around, my “One Positive Thing A Day” effort. And as you can see on the page it was not the success I was hoping it would be. Well I’m going to try something like it again, but with a more realistic goal – inspired by Christy. I’m scaling back from one year to one month, specifically April 2012. I’m also changing the parameters a bit. The goal to produce a hand drawn bit of type that is an “I” statement. I’m feeling inspired by Kyle Steed and Sean McCabe. The images will go up as is, be it messterpiece or masterpiece, by 10 PM (PST er GMT -8 or is that PDST buh time change).

So here’s the rundown:

Goal: Create a piece of hand drawn art for each day of April, as a meditation on how and whom I am.

Time: 30 days

What do I hope to accomplish:

  • Meditate & focus on positive self affirmation
  • Make more art
  • Practice expressing myself with conviction
  • Foster a more holistic view of myself
  • Want to do something and complete it

What am I trying to defeat:

  • My need to devalue myself
  • Lack of art/image making
  • My inner critic
  • The atrophy of my creative muscles
  • The feeling of being a failure if I don’t do it ‘perfectly’

I will start writing the statements I want to say now so that I can focus on the artwork later. While giving myself the option of changing the text at any time up until the work is posted. I’ll be posting these to my art/sketch blog and when the month is over I’ll collect them all into one page. I’ll probably also post them on my DeviantArt account too.

There is Only One Way Out – Dealing with the Fear of Failure

This starts with Adam Savage:

This video really hits me where I live, as the kids say. The speaker is Milton Glaser (his page, wikipedia) an icon in the design field, one of his most recognizable pieces of work is the I ❤ NY logo. And while he isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said … for me it spoke to where I see myself as an artist/designer/person in process of growing.
The good news is, this is totally possible! Growth is achievable!
The bad news is There is some guaranteed failure.

:record scratch needle drop:

Me: Whut!
Truth Speaker: Yah, there’s going to be some failure.
Me: I’m not sure I like this any more.
Truth Speaker: Tough. But honestly is it so bad?
Me: Kinda :kicks at the dirt:
Truth Speaker: Stop that. Look. Really look. The people you admire, they failed.
Me: ORLY! :defiant arm cross: They ain’t failing now.
Truth Speaker: :glare: Look at the early early part of the archives on PVP [ Then & Now ] or the early part of Zap In Space [ Then & Now ]. Does this blow your mind?
Me: S’okay
Truth Speaker: Look closely. These pages are far from perfect. They were the best work that could be done at the time but they are not perfect. There is room for growth. When the artists look back at these they often feel a bit chagrined. They see how far they have come. You know how they got there?
Me: Yah. School!
Truth Speaker: Yes, instruction helps. But they got there by doing something, not quite making it the way they wanted and then trying again. Each time gets closer to the goal they seek to achieve. They failed repeatedly. But they didn’t let the failure define them.
Me: Ya but –
Truth Speaker: Hm?
Me: It’s hard.
Truth Speaker: It is. It is always hard. It gets easier, but it’s always hard. For you, it is harder to get started, with your personality type and the baggage you carry. But it’s not any harder than it is for anyone else. It may look different, and someone may have a smaller bag to put down, but you don’t know how dense the weight in it is. It could be full of lead shackles from ridicule and an unsupportive home life. We’re all carrying something. The sooner we put it down the sooner we can pick up the things we want to carry.
Me: ‘spose you’re right.
Truth Speaker: You know I am. A failure doesn’t make you a failure. Continuing to fail without changing makes you a failure. So get up. Yes, you’re going to fall, but get up. When you get up you don’t fail. When you get up, you get to try again. Embrace the failure. See it for what it is. Move on with the knowledge you gained.
Me: And I get scared.
Truth Speaker: It can be scary. It puts you in a place of vulnerability. That is always kinda scary. But it’s worth it. When you’re out there, it will be you that is appreciated. And if they don’t like you, well they aren’t going to. And if they don’t like you but you are yourself they will at least respect you. And those that do accept you will love you. The real you. Not a facade, not a prop, not an expectation, just you. You are enough.
Me: I am?
Truth Speaker: Always. You are worth dying for. And more than that you are worth living for. Say it to me.
Me: I am enough. I’m going to fail, but I’m not a failure. I will stand up and move forward. I define myself. I am enough.