There Is Life After Failure

Today, I want to talk to you about something.  This entry is not only a personal one, but I mean it as being motivational too.  It’s something that everyone has to deal with at one time or another, especially if you are a creative professional.  What is that?

It’s failure.

No matter how good you are at comics (or illustration or animation or graphic design, etc), there will be times you don’t do well.  You may lose money, you may waste valuable time, you may earn the vicious insults of those on the Web, and you may even suffer humiliating failures along the way.  But it’s all part of the game.  

Dealing with failure is a part of the way of making comics.  There will be times when your efforts fall flat.  So what can you do?  The best way of dealing with failure is to keep on going.  There is a Japanese proverb that I occasionally like to spout off.  That proverb is this:

“Failure is not falling down.  Failure is falling down and not getting back up.”

I have suffered many failures myself along the way.  My college degree is not in art – it’s actually in creative writing!  Armed with that, I embarked on a career as a writer.  Said career was ill-fated.  To be perfectly frank, I failed miserably at it.  I wrote a whole novel, at least two novellas, and several short stories.  Everyone refused to publish it.  I was called a loser and told I wrote like crap.  My degree was called worthless and some trolls out there even accused my degree of being fake!

But there is life after failure.  That degree in creative writing was a big boon.  Years later, it came in handy when I started to pen the stories that evolved into Sunnyville.  Even as an artist, I’ve failed at times too.  Remember my reports on Anthrocon 2011 and Anthrocon 2012?  I did not sell any of my work in the art show.  Yet in spite of that, I pulled in much traffic to the blog, sold some of my comics and actually met fans of Sunnyville Stories face to face.  I may have failed in the art show, but I gained a lot still.

So far, sales of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 have been very slow.  But I am not daunted.  I do have faith in my product.

So what am I trying to say here?  If you work in comics (or just about any other field), you will fail at times.  But if you do, dealing with failure is important.  It’s not the end of the world.  It doesn’t mean you’re lousy.  It’s important to remember that there is life after failure.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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  1. Pingback: How Failure Can Help You Succeed | Sunnyville Stories

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