How do you deal with failure?

We love this quote of C.S. Lewis: ‘Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. One thing is for sure, you can not avoid failure. This time we spoke with K Eliza and Manalo Michael Vincent, giving us some great insights about how they deal with it.

Earlier in K Eliza her University, she was anxious about failure. Both artistically and academically wise. Her aim was to create perfect art which was created under pressure and anxiety and how she could actually define or review what constituted what was ideal.

 

Nowadays, K Eliza as an abstract artist who has become more experimental and Avant-Garde in her style. K Eliza said that “The process and outcomes of failure have become a developmental “tool” that I have embraced to facilitate my practice”.

 

Her art needed to reflect her, her feelings and ideas, what was authentically her as a fallible human being. “Failure is inevitable in all things that we do, in all aspects of life, as well as art. I have developed a more critical and accepting response to this, discarding outcomes that I accept as unsatisfactory, however, accepting and developing unintended but artistically interesting outcomes of failure that potentially may take my art in different and novel directions”, says K Eliza.

 

She has found this by using materials that may run and dynamically change their direction of travel to create exciting shapes or a fusion of colours. She takes comfort from the line in the song ‘Moon’ by Bjork: “The best way to start the new is to fail miserably…”.

 

A good line for Manalo is: “Failures are important, and if you don’t fail, you won’t truly succeed. If you don’t experience failure, you won’t truly feel that you succeeded”, as he said himself.

He has been knocked down many times, the worst one when he wanted to commit suicide when a project failed terribly.

 

“Let me tell you a story back in 2011, where I went to Poland, Australia, and the UK to participate in artist-residences. When I went back to my country – the Philippines, I decided to cooperate with my local government which gave me the grant to participate in the earlier mentioned artist residencies. The planning for the artist residency went well, I have cooperated with local bodies to help me in this effort as well. I put up an open call, and we have chosen artist’s to come and participate, but then in the summer of 2012, two typhoons named Saola and Haikui ravaged my hometown and destroyed the house where the artists are supposed to stay. After this, everything just went rolling down the stairs. I felt like a big failure, all the money, time and effort was just washed away”, explains Manalo.

 

His only thought was always just quitting. He experiences this by others too. “So many of have been conditioned to give up. To avoid failure. To quit before we even reach the most exciting part of our story. If we have never faced stacked odds, or gotten back up, or worked through crushing failures, how can we become the person we want to be? People feel like failures precisely because they’ve never been taught how to completely and spectacularly fail..”, says Manalo.

 

He did not stand up on my own, though, he was pulled back up by a lot of people, especially by his family. So he knows where you are going through.

 

If you feel like a failure, don’t worry. That’s a good thing. It means you have come to that low point on the rollercoaster which if you continue to fight will take you back to the high end. You’re telling a great story that will be said one day to future generations.

 

If you keep on failing, you’ll see those bad areas which you could alter and change to something better the next time you tackle it. After so many failures, we learn to be positive. It is like a lightbulb when we experience failure. We will click on the positive lightbulb and continue.

 

Focus, accept failure and use that as a way to get up to the success ladder.

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