Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why we think our work is never good enough....and starting out.

I always think I can do better. I can work harder, draw more, make more, be more. This is generally a good thing. I like challenges, I like to strive to be better, I think it keeps me honest. Usually I am right. I can do better, but it only comes well after the moment when I have developed and learnt new stuff (ah, the power of hind sight).

I'm always asked how did I get started. To be honest I was in a place where I had no choice but to start otherwise I was going to be trapped in a dead end job, with a life I really didn't want, and that is all you have to do - START. Below is one of the first images of the HiiRagi Army I put together. There is even a character that I haven't been able to do anything with, I found it impossible to make him look good as a 3D toy. The robots look different too, I had no idea really what I was doing. It's pretty funny to look back at them and what they have developed into today.

Being creative comes with challenges. It requires you to put yourself out there. Expose yourself a little bit. The key is to not care about others opinions. We are all entitled to them, but we don't have to take notice of them. I'm lucky that I have a megalomaniac personality type which thinks that the whole world is wrong and stupid, and it is up to the world to prove me wrong (I'm still waiting...). Where am I going with this? I had an email from a friend who has just landed a dream job and her fight to get there reminded me of a great quote from Ira Glass about creative people and our struggle to create something worthwhile. I can tell you that sometimes it's a real shit fight but if you're starting out this quote is a good reference:

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

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