I’d rather be an honest failure than a coward who never tried.

Good artists tend to be bad students.

“You know, to be perfectly honest… When I’ve talked with the art teachers at my college and taken Painting they’ve all talked about how there IS no *perfect* color balance but you have to have keep things from competing, and Mika’s color schemes don’t. There’s nothing that looks “wrong” when you look at them. It all looks completely intentional and perhaps the viewer just missed that.
I don’t think there’s any way possible to make art “perfect”.”- Dairine

I don’t “try” to make money from my work. People inquire, people ask, people commission, I have a lot of people who like having pieces of my progress- none of what I have posted has reached the full potential of my goals-but I have evolved from where I was even just a year ago and there is no denying that.

What is kitch and what is art? What is amateur and what is professional? Egon Schiele was a genius but he broke a lot of rules. (Not that I would ever compare myself to Schiele, I merely bring him up because he is one of my favorites.).

My point in posting and selling what I create is that I am free to let go and move forward.

My point in writing about my near death experience and watching my mother in her illness, as well as my traveling, my own fucked up experiences…etc….is not to make some sweeping statement but to inspire other people who are going through their own difficult situations to reach for something more, to keep hope.

I am not claiming to be anything special.

My pieces are evidence of the things that I have survived, whether that translates to the viewer “successfully” or not is subjective.

I received a rather rude comment earlier that made me think about this, about how I may be misrepresenting myself.

I know for a fact that my work is not perfect, but I do know that it is not cheesy and it is not amateur. It is amateur in the digital documentation and perhaps in the way I present it–but the work itself, if you see it in real life, is extremely detailed and refined. Don’t get me wrong I have a long way to go, but so does everyone. Even famous working artists that I am lucky enough to call friends and mentors will tell you that they have not yet reached their goals.

At least I have the balls to be myself and to be honest about who I am and what I do-unlike some people, who prefer to hide behind a veil of anonymity.

No one is perfect.

And I like that no one is perfect, I think that is what is really beautiful–that is part of being alive…we are always changing.

Nothing is set in stone.

The only thing in life that I cannot stand is a coward.

Even in my flawed existence I know that I will never be a coward, unlike some people.

I’d rather be an honest failure than a coward who never tried.

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~ by volatilestructure on May 19, 2010.

14 Responses to “I’d rather be an honest failure than a coward who never tried.”

  1. Whoever made you feel like you need to defend your own views is misguided in their sense of superiority. The important thing is that you produce work regularly and love what you do and give expression to yourself. What that moron (and he is a moron) fails to understand that even if he is ‘correct’ – simply working in the manner that you are can only help you improve – and that should be supported. Everyone should improve according to what THEY FEEL IS RIGHT in terms of taste- not some general consensus. The very idea of imposing ‘all encompassing’ rules for individual expression and perception is idiotic and emblematic of everything that is wrong with state endorsed ‘art education’. And if he feels like arguing, perhaps he could discuss it with the senior art critic of the NEw Yorker, who appears to share our views…

    • The very idea of imposing ‘all encompassing’ rules for individual expression and perception is idiotic and emblematic of everything that is wrong with state endorsed ‘art education’.—you hit the nail on the head. you were one of the first people to notice when my drawings changed/got deeper…..you’ve helped me so much, you have no idea. with the magical world you help me remember, and with how inspiring it is to have seen your work gain recognition as well.

  2. Your work is brilliant and I’m not saying that because we are friends. The people criticizing you have probably never even come close to accomplishing what you have and you’re only just beginning.

    • you have no idea how much i needed to hear that. in a way my first piece that i felt was successful was of you.imiss you, thank you for being there…you know me better than most especially when it comes to hatemail.

  3. Unfortunately it seems to be almost instinctive for many people to strike wherever they see a possible vulnerability… particularly if they can be anonymous. I don’t know, I just see it happen on the internet really frequently that anyone who seems beautiful but slightly vulnerable is likely to receive an onslaught of abusive comments. I honestly think jealousy is at least partially to blame…

    I, for one, think your art is beautiful, by the way. 🙂

    • thank you so much–you’re exactly right about all of that…especially with the anonymity part.
      it means a lot to me that you think my art is beautiful, it really does.
      its the support of others that really has helped me to keep going.

  4. I saw the comment that you are referring to and it made me laugh. In a way this person is validating you! Realism ended over a century ago, there is no objective perfect color balance, and art is more of an expression of emotions now (which s/he acknowledges that you have a talent for) than it was when it was trying to capture objectivity (pre-Impressionists).

    Some background:
    I don’t know you but I used to be your myspace friend waaay back in high school times (I’m 23 now) and stumbled upon your blog and tumblr through Francesca Lia Block’s page. You have inspired me simultaneously through your art and who you are and choose to be through projecting honesty and courage.

    In my opinion one can only become a true artist when someone who has surpassed your ego when it comes to the reasons to create art. From the little I’ve seen of your interactions on tumblr you recognize the light in other people and I think that is one of the best traits an artist can have because it is honest and humbling. It says that you recognize both sides of your humanity – that everyone has a story and something to give, but because of this you are only one out of many, you know?

    Anyways, it seems that you have a lot of supportive friends and admirers and you can count me among them. I thing you and your paintings are absolutely gorgeous.

    • rachel–
      you have no idea how much that means to me….seriously. especially since you know my work and have followed me (and are also an flb girl–i feel like there’s a certain kind of spirit that is drawn to those stories) as i’ve grown….
      i really love this-
      “In my opinion one can only become a true artist when someone who has surpassed your ego when it comes to the reasons to create art. From the little I’ve seen of your interactions on tumblr you recognize the light in other people and I think that is one of the best traits an artist can have because it is honest and humbling. It says that you recognize both sides of your humanity – that everyone has a story and something to give, but because of this you are only one out of many, you know?”

      can i post that on my tumblr, its so eloquent and i think you’re very correct…you have to see the stories in other people, recognize that deep down we are all artists in our own right/capable of creation…some of us are still finding our voices and i find it is so important to recognize that, especially to be there for other people…i really create my work because of my love of humans and i know that there is so much i can learn from the people who have stepped into my life, whether it be online or in real physical space–when people are brave enough to share their story with me or their opinions it means a lot to me.

      are you on my facebook/myspace still?
      xo

      • Yeah, you can post it!

        It’s funny because I was just writing a paper on how ideas are separate from identity. They come to us and noone can claim anything other than the specific form we assemble them in, whether it be a sentence, a painting, a song. For example – if people tried to assert owenership over chord structures and changes in songs we would run out fast. It’s the little things and the personal touches, the imperfections and the dissonance to the common message that make it special. Noone ever accesses anything that hasn’t been thought of before, but giving form to it makes it pass through you and makes it unique.

        I don’t really use myspace anymore and I have a facebook that I have just started to find people on:
        http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692074103

        This is my tumblr that’s also relatively new:
        conceptuelle.tumblr.com

        I’m glad you like what I wrote and I could inspire you, this whole interaction is awesome because it’s kind of a dynamic example of the exact thing we’re talking about…. 🙂 ha

        Keep living the truth.

        Rachel

      • your tumblr is amazing!!!

        i’d love to read the paper you’re writing…seriously, you have no idea how much this cheered me up today.

  5. Hugs, Have you watched the video on my Myspace site…Stanislav Rembski…My Great Uncle…he speaks of his Art…Portraits. The video…is riveting…check it out Mika…;))

    • oh i’ll go look now at that video!
      thank you for everything, you’ve always been a light for me.

  6. I know exactly what you mean. “to inspire other people who are going through their own difficult situations to reach for something more, to keep hope.”. Hope is the quaint essential human emotion. Both the source of our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. Don’t stop doing what your doing no matter what anyone says. Take rude comments and learn from them. I’m sure that’s what you do, but I’m agreeing.

    • thank you so much….
      i know, i think people might have misunderstood and thought i was being arrogant when i spoke of inspiration–but what i was really saying was just that…that because im a normal person going through something difficult i feel like other people who are going through their own situations of loss and struggle can relate-and i hope that by talking about creating and keeping hope and dreams that it just helps other people to remember what they themselves are capable of…because i really believe that everyone has a story to tell, i really make art just to inspire people to make their own. i know that art saved me when i was in the hospital, and i know that it can save me now….
      you’re very correct on everything you say here and it really means a lot to me that you’ve taken the time to read and write this to me-but even more that you understand me, that really really helps.
      xo

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