“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
The title for this blog post is inspired by a quote that Just Be Yourself design team member, Carolyn Phillips, used for one of her digital pieces. I find the quote by Winston Churchill to be so true.
When I began to design digitally a couple of years ago, I did not know much about the software. In fact, for about five years all I used Photoshop Elements for was to edit (as in just crop) photos of my projects for my blog, and to create a watermark. That was it. And I might add, that watermark took me a very long time to make. I had no clue how to go about it, so finally I found a video tutorial online, and watched it over and over and over. I didn’t know what the tools did. I didn’t know anything. And I didn’t push myself to learn the software either.
About three years ago I became intrigued by the use of digital software. I wasn’t just seeing it being used for digital scrapbooking (I don’t scrapbook…I think you actually have to take photos to scrapbook and taking photos is not a passion of mine), but for creating altered art. How do they do that, I pondered…and that turned into a new passion…designing digitally. That led to enrolling in art school to learn graphic design, and a couple years later, creating digitally has become my passion…but that doesn’t mean I’ve achieved eternal, everlasting success.
I define success as meaning victory in steady, small steps. I’ve never been able to achieve that BIG dream without first accomplishing small, steady goals. And you don’t accomplish your goals if you don’t work at it. And you don’t always accomplish those small goals without a few failures along the way!
My first designs were mediocre at best…and they took me forever to create! I’d spend hours on just a few art journal backgrounds…but I determined that the only way to learn the software, to become more proficient at using it, was to actually use it…regularly! About a year and a half ago I set a creative goal…to spend part of each day for at least five days a week creating. It didn’t matter if I was inspired by something, or had a project in mind. It still doesn’t. But, I have to sit at my computer and at least try. For every set of papers I create, there are usually some duds. There are some that no matter how hard I work at it, no matter how much time I spend at it, they just don’t turn out! The great thing about creating digitally, at least for me, is that the only thing I’m out is time…I’m not using any materials, so I’m not afraid to hit the delete button. Sometimes you just need a fresh blank canvas to get started again.
And, once I’ve learned how to do one technique, I press on to learn another…and I discovered an amazing thing…success builds upon success but success also builds upon failures…the important thing for me is not to give up and to continue to learn by doing. In a little over a year and a half I have created several thousand digital art journal papers…some I’ve really loved…and some…not so much…but most of the time I work at my craft at least five days a week. Sometimes I feel like working, sometimes I don’t…sometimes ideas flow freely, sometimes they don’t…but I work anyway.
What happens when we’ve achieved success in any of our endeavors?
Do we quit?
Or do we move on to achieve yet another success?
What do we do when we fail?
Do we quit trying?
Do we just give up?
OR do we have the courage to press on?
Carolyn used this set of printable papers for her digital scrapbook pages: 1445 – Beach Hues 2
Please check out the rest of the Carolyn’s creative process on her blog, Mess, Muddle, and Fun; and leave her a comment for a chance to win this set!