The story of this picture is not necessarily one of Failed-Art but more one of unexpected success. I still wanted to include the story here because it is an example of how self criticism affects our success. We are bad at remaining objective when it comes to our own work. We are usually our biggest critics. We set our own bar really high and we determine what we expect from ourselves. Judgement, including that for yourself, can have immense power and can potentially stop us in our progression. Think about how you determine when your own art is good and when it's not. Does the amount of time that you spent on creating it have something to do with it? Is something that you do with ease by chance less valuable than something that is hard to do?
Now to the story. BTW there was no way to get a better picture but you'll see, there is a good reason for that.
This was created during a moment of intense personal frustration and hopelessness. At the time, I had few supplies and money was tight so all I had to work with was a simple No. 2 pencil, a bit of charcoal and extremely low quality hobby paper.
I laid a board on the floor, put the paper on top of it, put my head phones on and set my Mp3 player to random. I didn’t care what it looked like. I didn’t care if the proportions were wrong. I just wanted to capture what I was feeling. I don’t know why I made the decision to put the figure at the bottom but I did. Sailing on and song after another, I decided wings would be perfect. And in those wings I wrote the lyrics of the songs I was escaping into. I put the drawing aside and continued with life.
While I was drawing it, I did not think of it as me doing art. I did not even like the way it looked. I felt it was sloppy, and drawn disproportionate. Maybe I did not appreciate it because there was no prior planning, no vision, and almost no effort that went into it. I just sat down and started drawing. It’s hard to describe, but for some reason this was not up to that random imaginary standard that we so often have a habit of holding ourselves to.
At the time, I was a member of a gallery and there was a call to artists for an un-juried gallery exhibition, so I thought “What the heck?” I took this poor piece of paper and had it framed, wrapped it up and sent it to the gallery.
On the night of the opening, within minutes mine was the first to receive a red dot. I had no idea what I was doing because at the time I had never really been a working artist. I was ushered around to meet the buyer. She told me she had seen it a few days prior and had to have it. She said that it reminded her of when she and her son would go to concerts together while going through a tough divorce and those where times she cherished because music made everything better for a moment.
I can’t remember the title of the piece. I think it was left untitled because it was just some stupid drawing in my mind. But, it wasn’t stupid to her. Just goes to show you never know.
About the artist:
Alayna is a Glass work artist living in Chattanooga TN