Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting it Wrong and Liking It

Trac Changes, a blog I basically want to copy + paste right here
recently reminded me of one of the most important things I learned 
from my favorite professor at Bing:
the freedom to fail gloriously.

As clowns and as actors
Professor Toomey
would remind us that there's nothing to learn
nothing to discover
in a small failure.Bigger is better.
And that to fail was not to lose,
but to learn another path towards success. 

A lot of time, as artists
(or human beings)
we expect to get it right the first time.
We want to be proud of everything we do.
I know that there's only so much time I'll spend on a drawing
before getting pissed off & giving up.


When I got the opportunity to sit with Bob Mankoff
he emphasised the importance for cartoonists
(and all artists) to draw and work and draw
and then work some more
on refining their style.
Because it's only through repetition that 
you're going to be able to reduce the world
to the essentials.

I was reminded of this when
 I listened to a 
"state of the artist" podcast from WNYC
where James Murphy described his creative "process"-

I also had this concept that I really liked called Good/Bad/Good. Like something that’s a good idea in that it’s a really bad idea, which kind of makes it a really great idea. Like it just kind of goes through things twice.



Or things that are like, you can say them as a joke, even. Or as an idea. Like oh, wouldn’t that be a funny idea. But then the gesture of actaully working through the problems of what would sometimes be a simple idea, but bringing them up on with as much labor as they take, something beautiful happens.



For me, it was always like, when we did the label, our record company we called “TFA Records”, which was just a series of terrible ideas that made everybody who worked there really happy- where we would be like [...] I had a meeting with my partner were we were like “We need a logo” and I drew a lighting bolt really badly with a ballpoint pen and wrote a little thing in the middle of it and we were like “well, okay, we could use that. And then we were like, no, we could just use that.” We did that, crappy, like we don’t get a designer to come and make that better. It’s not very big, it’s not going to blow up very well, perfect!



After doing this for long enough, we realized that, we had kind of kidded, as a means of making something that we wouldn’t let ourselves make if we had said “this is going to be art.” Like we had kidded ourselves into a place where we could be like [...] We had found we had made all these things that we really loved. And we did believe in them, and we knew they were bad. And that was part of what they were to us. That they weren’t pretty, and they weren’t - they were weirdly functional.

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