when failure is an option

Failing
This has been on my mind ever since I saw this post in  Anne Sage's instagram feed. It's similar to the old "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail" quote which, quite frankly, has never really struck a cord with me. Maybe because there are all sorts of things I would do if I knew I couldn't fail. That doesn't mean any of those things are "my path"  or even very realistic goals.  It's like ruminating on how you would use your winning lottery money. A fun thing to dream about, but it's not really eliciting any action.

Finding what's worth doing even if you fail? Now that my friends is entirely different. What is that thing, that ONE THING that you are so compelled to do, that you still dive head first in even if you where told that at the end of the journey you would most certainly not succeed? This is a much harder question with a much more telling answer.

It also has me contemplating our culture's definition of success and failure. When is doing something that you love so much that you willingly step into the void to do it a failure? When you don't make any money on it? When no one pays attention? When people do pay attention, but hate what you are doing? If those things are the definition of failure, then I suppose you have failed. When you find that thing that is worth it, despite the failure, haven't you already succeeded?

So back to MY answer to this question. I thought about it for days, and kept coming to a simple answer. So simple, I thought perhaps it was wrong. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was the right answer because it was the one that came to me: 

I would make things.

But what does THAT mean? If you're reading this blog, you most likely already know that I'm a graphic designer. I "make" things every day. And I love it. I love that I can help others create THEIR thing. Because they wouldn't be able to do that on their own. Most days, it's a beautiful and highly rewarding gift to be able to do that as a profession. So why am I still seeking to make things you may ask?

Because when I say "make things" I mean tangible objects out in the world, with my own personal stamp and style on them. I used to make things all the time. I would sew, I would glitter, I would draw, I would cut and paste. And then I stopped. (I have a therory as to the why, but that's another post for another day.) Now I know I need to get back to it and get my hands a little dirty again. I know this mostly because as I develop my surface pattern design portfolio what I'm "making" there feels more and more right.

I also watched Kate Bingamen Burt's Creative Mornings lecture and got pretty fired up. I realized that the "systems" she talks about are a good way to get me/keep me making for me again, and I plan on coming up with my own.

So why am I telling you all this? To be perfectly honest I'm not quite sure. I do know that this means there will be some changes around here. I feel my focus for what I want this blog to be will most likely be shifting. I have a blurry vision that this may become my journal of "making." What form that takes I haven't a clue. In the short term while I'm ruminating, it will probably mean fewer posts. In the long term, it may mean documenting my creative journey more and/or more posts like this one. You see, posts like this are the hardest to hit publish on. Exposing your inner desires, or even worse- your vulnerabilites- is terrifying! But one thing I have learned over the years is that if there is something that scares you, you should run firmly towards it. Nine times out of ten, you'll find that it's not a ghost haunting your room, it's just a blanket hanging on a hook with a bit of breeze blowing by.

Drawing by Sarah: Very Sarie