March 5, 2007

No excuses

An instructor at school had written on the whiteboard:

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours.
-Richard Bach

I'm finding this to be true. Though it has been extremely helpful to get around artists who are further along than I, and begin to develop an informed perspective on what my strengths and weaknesses are, I'm noticing a tendency to take their constructive criticism and turn it into excuses.

"Have you ever thought about doing storyboards?"
"Yeah, I could, but I need to work on my film knowledge more."

"So are you trying to pursue any major clients?"
"No, I don't think I'm good enough yet, I need to stick with small stuff for now."

"Hey you should submit your portfolio to that gallery [that you love and visit every month], your work would totally fit in."
"Yeah, one day I want to, but I need to make new stuff first."

While each of these statements may have some wisdom and truth to them, the attitude that spawns them is more one of inferiority and risk-aversion. To some extent, I need to just take risks. Maybe I won't get into the gallery with my current work, but I can always try again when some new stuff is ready. Maybe I haven't done storyboards much, but I can start with a small job and learn on the go.

The ironic thing I've realized is that in my perceived unreadiness for the opportunities I aspire to, I've been leaning more on graphic design jobs that come by. Yet on the grand scale of expertise, I'm just as inexperienced as a graphic designer, and everything I've learned in that discipline has been in the midst of working, leading to steady progress and more jobs. Maybe because my goal isn't to become a graphic designer, I'm not as afraid of falling short. But the point is that we grow as we tackle challenges we haven't mastered yet, and I suppose if I've made it this far, it must be possible to survive even when you make mistakes.

But anyway, enough with excuses. Take some risks where you'd really like to succeed.


he said said...

John K's latest blog post talks about somebody just learning to storyboard. It's good and educational as always.

Zach said...

Zoracle Law #1 my friend: I regret more the things I didn't do then the things I did do.

Here's some other Laws that apply:
Zoracle Law #5: I do not fear death, only an unfulfilled life.
Zoracle Law #7: It's never too late.

These are some laws that I use to keep me on track and in most things, I try to overshoot what I think I can do cause I know I'll figure it out somehow. As for you, I've ALWAYS thought you were an amazing artist in so many ways. it's good that you continue to improve your art, but I think you could be doing a lot more if you focused on one thing you really like doing (like design) and going for it. My two bits of a spanish milled dollar.