I listen to Charlie Rose every day (or at least every day if I can). Charlie Rose offers no-nonsense interviews with the world's leaders in every walk of life or occupation from science, politics, actors, writers, politicians, directors, producers, and entrepreneurs.
I often find the speakers inspiring. These are the smartest, hardest working, and usually, most articulate people in the world who are able to bring ideas and introspection to the plain wooden table of Charlie Rose.
Today, I want to share a couple of thoughts that may be helpful to artists and makers. Of course, these quotes weren't really about art or art careers. I have taken their words completely out of context, but their words of wisdom warrant being heard. In fact, I think they should be our mantra.
The first quote is from an interview with George Shultz, Former US Secretary of State from Monday, January 24, 2011. I have been savoring this for over a year now. He said, "If you don't have ideas, you don't have a compass." This opinion works for both our artwork and for our careers. If we don't have a compass we don't know what direction we are going. It is very easy to get lost. We need a plan. We need a one-year goal and a five-year goal.
Continuing with inspiring thoughts from Peter Gruber on Charlie Rose - March 14, 2011
PETER GUBER: "Failure is an inevitable cul-de-sac on the road to success."
"So the idea is you learn from it. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice. You want to be able to grow. You want to be able to recognize that most of the stuff, the fear that you express is really false evidence appearing real. It’s not, you know, it’s not always going to happen."
"So if you become, not immune to the failure, but you recognize that failure is a part of the process, when you take really good creative chances, when you really take good business chances, you will have failures. And the idea is you learn from them and move on. If they own you, if you surrender to them, then the pain is unbearable. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t lived life to the fullest."
PETER GUBER continues: "And you know, I think the idea is that failure and success are this close together, Charlie. Inside every failure are the seeds to great success, and in every great success are the opportunities for failure."
Whenever I am working on a new project, I think "failure and success" are very close together. Only hard work, skill, perseverance, intuition, and insight help you find your compass. Experience has taught me not to give up.
Working on the pencil project Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin was discouragingly slow. I worked on it for four years. Talk about scary! It's finally done and the work is being exhibited for the first time. The next phase to make a video is going forward.
So keep working...every day with a plan. And work on your compass.