This blog began as my thoughts about taking your work to the next level. (Not that I have the necessary answer to doing that… it was more of a reflection on the concept).
As someone whose studying art, I’m always working hard. Taking whatever you’re doing and pushing it forward becomes so important. As an art student (and as a person) growth has become a top priority, if not THE top priority.
When you’re learning to give everything you can to your work, validation can become a very touchy area in life. Of course, you don’t want to be dependent on other’s opinions of what you’re doing or who you are, nor do you want to be too swayed by it, but sometimes when you put so much into something… not getting that validation or reception can be very disheartening.
It’s tricky balance to find, isn’t it?
What do you do when the validation isn’t there? What do you do when your work isn’t received like you hoped?
This is my guess: there is no perfect answer to either of these questions. I have a feeling that we all just get through it the best we can and try to keep moving. When you give yourself wholeheartedly to something, and it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, of course it’s going to be painful. When you are working diligently on what you do, and someone tells you that you aren’t there yet, of course it’s going to be frustrating.
Maybe the important thing is that it’s awful because you care. The pain shows up because your efforts were authentic.
So maybe the success of our work doesn’t lie in the judgement in our audience, or even the actual outcome of the work itself. Maybe the success of what we do lies in the process. Personally, I find that when I look at it in that way, I’m much less afraid to fail. But that doesn’t mean that the days won’t come where I’ll wish that things were different. There will still be times where I’ll wish that maybe I could have that feeling of security that comes from the positive validation. But when you know that the motivation for your hard work doesn’t lie in the hands of others, it will be much easier to get up after those hard falls, and you will get back up. You will dust off your knees, stretch your legs, and keep on going as hard as you can to pursue your dreams.