I have a collection of blank sketchbooks and journals that I’m afraid to make a mark in for fear that what I commit to paper won’t be good enough to match my expectations. There's a gorgeous hardcover blank book covered in Marimekko fabric that I intended to start as a daily record of my business thoughts and goals when I moved into my new office space… a year ago. It’s still blank, but as the months pass, that simple notebook is becoming more of a burden. I see it perched on my shelf, chiding me. The past year didn’t turn out as I imagined or planned. Moving my studio after eight years in Art Central (a 3-storey commercial arts complex slated for demolition) turned out to be just the opening act for a very challenging year.
Unless I disassociate my expectations about what this past year was supposed to be like, I suspect I will never do anything with that notebook.
Have you ever not started a project in order to avoid the risk of failure?
As creatives, we dance with failure on a daily basis. Whether we flirt with disaster by using a temperamental medium, like Robin describes in the sidebar, or endure the uncertainty that comes with being a freelance designer or illustrator, the potential for failure (and success) is immense. It’s part thrilling, part paralyzing.