Friday, 17 December 2010

More Than Perfect

When we make art, we constantly set ourselves up to fail.

There is a goal, something we need to make that doesn't exist in the world, and we practice, gather, research, try, push, get lost, sketch, exercise and struggle until it is done.

It is easy to get caught up in perfection. We can see it or hear it in its perfection, but in translating that perfect ideal we can get caught up in falling short.

But how much incredible music has been made with low-fi equipment or virtually non-existent production, how many sketches have you seen that had ten times more energy than the final painting, how much delicious food have you eaten that was "a mistake," how many accidents have changed the world? It is the limits that make us great.

If Picasso had kept trying for "realism" in his early days? You would never have heard his name.

Embrace the mistakes. Don't let them stop you. The only thing that is more than perfect is the work that is completed.

After that, your failures may succeed beyond your greatest successes:

This architect failed, and made one of the biggest attractions in the world:

Gone With the Wind was rejected 38 times. Lord of the Flies 20.
Ulysses was constantly rejected (and keep in mind that the rejections are the publishers that bother to write back) and James Joyce's first book was thrown into the fire after getting rejected so much:

Here's an epic failure by one of the greatest artists in the world:

Citizen Kane was a huge box office failure. Even though critics lauded it, it also failed to win any of the Oscars it was nominated for; Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing (all things it is considered revolutionary in)... only winning one: Best Writing (Original Screenplay) so it's 1 for 8:

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