I've been working my ass off to get my book done before my demo at Daniel Smith (Bellevue) on the 25th of this month. I spent the better part of the last three days attempting to get a proper cover image. I wanted to do a self portrait for the cover and, as I was attempting them, they just weren't turning out as I wanted. I thought it might take me one afternoon to bust one out. Turns out, it took me almost three whole days of working, and twelve attempts to get something that was satisfactory.
Twelve self portraits. Eleven of them sucked.
Just because I've spent the better part of a decade drawing doesn't mean that it just comes out easy. It's a constant progression towards better, and it is still a lot of work. I think it might be easy to think about how excellence just is. Wrong. Excellence is a lifestyle, and most of the time we only see the end product. We never see the hours and hours that professional athletes have spent training. We never see the years of research, development, and failure that goes into each new product. We never see the months or years of prep work that goes into starting each new business, or each new venture. When people see my show hanging up at Bauhaus in April, they probably won't think that it will have taken me over a full month to put together the show that will hang for a month. As far as they can tell, the work just shows up, and then new work replaces it.
The point is, it takes work, and failure happens. You just keep going and you keep growing. If you're not willing to put in the work, if you're not willing to learn, and if you're not willing to take a risk, then you'll never accomplish anything. If you don't do what it takes to get that result, you'll never get that result.
After eleven failed attempts, this is what I came up with. But remember, it took me eleven failed attempts to end up here..
Are you willing to do what it takes?