I Failed!

I failed…

I let people down.
I let myself get upset.
I got in over my head.
I took on more than I could handle – bit off more than I could chew.

And now…
I have to eat crow,
because I told everyone about it before I really carefully considered it,
before I really tried it,
before I realized the time and commitment involved.

You may recall I got all excited about some paintings I did for a sweet blogging friend, Carolyn, who is co-authoring a book with Colin.  Carolyn had challenged me to paint some characters in the book they are writing.  I did, with the full intention of gifting them to her, but when she fell in love with them (and Colin liked them too), they asked if I would be interested in illustrating their book.

In my enthusiasm, I eagerly accepted.

Then they sent me the first chapter to illustrate…

After three evenings’ attempts, my “illustration” didn’t even look good enough to turn in for a First Grade art project!

I grew frustrated and began to get nervous at how much time would be involved in creating 30 illustrations – likely through multiple iterations – and the time I had to do it in -considering I work full time (and then some), the time I love spending with my family, the time I enjoy on this blog, and the real creativity I enjoy.

What was I thinking??  I have no education or professional experience in this.  I am NOT an illustrator.  I love loose, expressive watercolor painting – painting flowers and birds and any ole’ thing that strikes my fancy.  I love turning them into cards and prints and sharing and selling them on my Daughter-in-Law’s and my little Etsy Shop.

But drawing and painting pictures and scenes….   Well – not only do I not (currently) have the talent  (I say that because I believe anyone can learn to do almost anything they want to do with enough time, practice, effort, and passion for it), but I honestly don’t have the time or the passion for it.

So I quickly told Carolyn and Colin this just wasn’t going to work for me.

It was HARD!

I do not like to fail…
I do not like to give up…
I do not like to break commitments…
I do not like to let people down.

But they were so understanding, and my four paintings were carefully packaged and mailed to Carolyn for her to always have as a small gift and remembrance from me.

And I have to admit a weight has been lifted from my shoulders,
and my heart is light and carefree again.
I failed, but I failed fast and am not beating myself up about.
I uncommitted quickly and decisively and before I got in too deep.

I painted this big red letter F.
I loosely painted a big red circle around it.

and I feel Free,
and I am Forgiving myself.
I am Focusing on what I love to do,
and I am having Fun…

at Life In Between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Thank you Carolyn and Colin for your faith in me, for giving me this experience, for helping me realize where my heart is, and for forgiving me for letting you down.  I wish you the greatest success on your Moonbeam Farm books!  I know I’ll be purchasing and reading them – and admiring someone else’s illustrations! 🙂

 

111 thoughts on “I Failed!

  1. Jodi—

    You did NOT fail. You do what you love and people love your paintings (I am a huge fan!). It’s a whole other ballgame when you are asked to be a professional illustrator. I tell you out of my own experience; back in the ’90s my mother and I wrote a children’s book called “Shopping at the Ani-Mall.” It was published by the now defunct Windswept House out of Mt. Desert, ME. We were told that only rarely do publishers take an “outside” illustrator (i.e., someone NOT on their staff) to illustrate a book they want to publish. Their own illustrator did the drawings for our book, and, for a little book from a small publishing company, it did all right.

    Keep on sharing your beautiful art. It makes my day to see your work, and I was especially fond of the blue heron painting; it was gorgeous.

    Jane

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Jane! Your words mean so much! Is your book still available even used on Amazon? I am going to look it up. So exciting you got to do that. I would love to learn more about the experience. Maybe you could do a blog sharing it 🙂

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  2. I can totally relate to your post this morning!
    I thought with my heart and not my head this weekend and took two lab puppies home, which was too much for our older dog and my own sanity. We opted to only adopt one and served as a foster for the other. Happily, they are the kind of siblings that do better separately than together, but I was sad to let one go to another home, but do feel that same sense of relief and freedom.
    And hey, if we had to “fail”, at least it was with good motives. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jodi – As other readers have alluded to, it cannot be considered a failure if something has been learned from it! I should also stress what I have “preached” to my kids, and to my staff during my working years… “I will expect perfection from you as soon as I can set the example. You’re quite safe for the immediate future!” Keep smiling… keep painting… keep learning, and have a wonderful day! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “Failed”…hardly. I give you so much credit for realizing this wasn’t for you at this point in your life. Continue doing what you do best for your family, your work and most of all for you!
    Have a great day,
    Char
    💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Char! Thank you! I feel so foolish blabbing about it and thinking I could do it, and now having to say I can’t! At least we all know I’m human and can’t do everything! As I often say, if we just didn’t have to sleep, there would be so many hours in the day to do fun things! 🙂 Happy day to you to Char! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This does not seem to me to be a failure on your part, more like an acknowledgement of what your priorities need to be to make YOU happy and fulfilled. When something becomes totally overwhelming one must take a step back to consider the end goal – is this worth the cost of my sanity? If however, it still feels like a failure to you (according to Henry Ford) : “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” It appears that you well on your way!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As everyone else has said, you are being too hard on yourself. Illustrating an entire book is indeed a big commitment, not the same as illustrating one idea or doing one illustration for a story or poem. To me, the consistency needed would be the most difficult thing. I bet you could do a book of poems though.
    But still…the time commitment. Better to admit it’s not the right project for you. That takes courage, so bravo!
    Now that recipe book…(K)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Jodi, how Fearless you are my sweet artist friend!! I applaud your decision, you are wise beyond words! Oh how I wish I could take you to lunch, or better, Happy Hour! I had a sort of similar experience a while back, I agreed to write a book with a fellow blogger. We, no make that I, worked long and hard for 8 months, meeting every so often, and even had a publisher. As the end approached, I began to realize that this wasn’t working for me, for many of the same reasons you mention. I didn’t mind doing the most of the work, 90% of the materials and photos were mine, but she wanted 50% of the credit, and quite frankly the parts she wrote were embarrassingly bad. The publisher kept moving the publish date back, and I finally decided I didn’t need this!! I informed them gently that I wanted to go a different direction solo. It was so HARD! And yes, I felt like a quitter, but yes, I felt FREE, a burden lifted! I’m sure my friend felt let down, but it wasn’t long before I knew I made the right decision which was reinforced by some other mutual friends. So bravo to you Jodi, my Pennsylvania sister! Continue to paint what you love and what inspires, when you stop doing that, it becomes tedious and dull…
    🌷Jenna

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I agree with Robin, you did not fail! You wanted to illustrate their book for them and your heart was in it. Thirty illustrations are a lot to do. The illustrations you already painted for them are darling! I also think you would have done a great job had you had the time to do them.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. OH dear friend, I totally agree with what everyone else is saying! You tried, you didn’t fail! You were honest with yourself and us in realizing that you couldn’t do it. That’s not failure! You did 4 amazing paintings for me and for that I will always be grateful! ❤
    As Colin and others have said, Keep painting!! and Keep being wonderful you! ❤ ya!
    And I could really go for some of your cinnamon cookies right now, want to send me some of them? LOL! KIDDING! 🙂 But baking is another thing that you ROCK at! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh C! I really wanted to be able to do it for you! I got so excited before really thinking it through and knowing what I could do and the time I had available. A part of me wanted to stay up all night trying and practicing and learning. That’s how I can be. I throw myself into things. But then I have too many things – LOL! And I have to set appropriate priorities. I fell in love with Moonbeam Farms and will continue to be a huge fan and support you! We have been on this journey together from almost the beginning, and it has been a huge blessing to me!!! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Believe me, I know what getting caught up in the excitement can do. I been there!
        You have such a big, wonderful heart!
        Yes, we have been on this blogging journey together from the start and it has been a blessing to me as well!!
        Thanks for loving our special friends on Moonbeam Farm and being such an encourager about them! Now if you just knew how the farm got its name, eh? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Jodi, I was once told failure is just not the result you expected – that’s it. You have good intentions and are a great person, this I know without meeting you in person. Enjoy the day, and as always I hope you have a happy day. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You really didn’t fail at all. You realized it was too much and then you gracefully backed out and did the best and right thing for everyone! You are an amazing person and wanted to do something really exciting. You are so talented and creative and smart! I give you an A for sure. Your paintings are amazing and maybe someday we will get to see them in a gorgeous book! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks John – I felt like I had to admit as I blabbered to the universe that I was going to do it – LOL! It is a relief to have it out there before anyone asks how it’s going – haha! I appreciate your kind support! Enjoy that HEAT today! You can keep it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jodi, your “failure” sounds an awful lot like success to me. You were open to trying something new—that’s something so many people aren’t willing or able to do. You recognized after giving it your all that it wasn’t right for you and you weren’t the best fit for the project—that’s both self-awareness and honesty…again rare commodities. You graciously withdrew, giving the authors not only the gift of the paintings you’ve done for them, but the opportunity to seek the person who was meant to undertake this project—how many people would act with such grace? You shared your story of “failure” and self-realization openly, showing how what may seem failure is actually freeing, and opens us to forgiveness, focus, and fun! Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a gift you and your kind message are to me dear Donna! To turn it around into positive words like self-awareness and grace and self-realization humble my heart beyond words. thank you so so very much for taking the time to read and then comment so sensitively and generously. You really helped make my day. I owe a great deal of thankfulness to you! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you should turn your “F” for failure into a “P” for POSITIVE. You haven’t failed, you’ve simply learnt that you’re not cut out for illustrating books (at least not yet!). So now on the POSITIVE side of things you can put this down to experience, learn something POSITIVE from it and now freely focus on what you really want to do… !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Evelyn! I did learn that. And I am using this experience for positive. How could I not with the kind encouragement from this community and so many like YOU! I appreciate you immensely!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t believe there is such a thing as failure, Jodi. Only lessons to learn! I have taken on more than I should in the past and it has helped to me figure out where I want to put my time and efforts. 😍 Keep being you!! 🎨👍🌈💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is a good outlook and point Jill. I have learned a lot from it, and I also feel so supported in this community. A true blessing in disguise 🙂 ❤ Tomorrow I will share ART again 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  15. This is not a FAIL. You can characterize it as such, but it is not a fail. You realized your limitations and responded accordingly. You and I have had this “illustrator” discussion over the wafting aroma of freshly shredded cabbage. A book is a committment of unusual proportions. Something not to be taken lightly. And certainly not without a written contractual commitment. No matter how genuine and unselfish your motives or the generosity of your spirit. You did the absolute RIGHT thing here. This was not a FAIL. This was just another sweet lesson in life, and you reacted admirably. This is a PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS event. I hope you can see that, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Is this MZ? If it is, you certainly do know the kind of commitment this is. I so so greatly appreciate the time you took to read and then comment so kindly and generously. Thank you so very much! 🙂

      Like

  16. I agree with the “anonymous” response…….this is a sweet lesson in life…. it is a sweet thing to be able to pick …choose …to do what your heart tells you is best……. love your candor ……love you ….Joyce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you my sweet Joyce! I bit off more than I could chew, but quickly realized. Just have to eat a little crow now 😦 But move on – and choose more wisely – and you’re right – for the “things in between,” I need to follow my heart. Love you bunches! See you in a few days! xoxo

      Like

  17. Good for you, Jodi. Quick to realize being a book illustrator is a full time job! And usually includes a few years of book illustrating experience…I love the way you turned the F into positives. Onward with that! 💛 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really didn’t think it through out of sheer excitement – LOL! – Until I started trying to do it. Sheesh! I am not ready for it – but at least I know that now 🙂 Thanks so much for always being so kind and encouraging Christine!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. So many people have said so much and rallied around you but remember and stand on that last bit about freedom and forgiving yourself, huge! I don’t think that you failed, I think that you tried and being honest with yourself about not being to go through with it and being honest with everyone; give yourself an A! I think what you experienced a lot of artists have gone through regardless of talent or level, remember that. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I think this is a really important post for people to read. 1) Because it’s sort of reassuring to see other people being so hard on themselves, and 2) because it’s nice to have someone saying you don’t HAVE to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. In fact, sometimes it’s good to say no! Thanks for the refreshing honesty.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. a beautiful, post Jodi. Its your Jubilance and enthusiasm, that sparks us all.
    And we know that its just not possible to do all we’d like. or all we’ve said … we’d like to do. People DO understand. 🙂 And, in your post you also wrote “forgiving myself” – that right there, is so very important!! cheers and hugs, from downunder – Debi

    Liked by 1 person

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  22. What a smart way to look at an “F!” Before I got the end of your post I was all set to wade in with comfort and advice about how illustrating a children’s book is a HUGE commitment of time, which is why there are professional illustrators out there. That’s basically all they do, as a full-time job. And that I thought it was wonderful you were willing to try your hand at illustrating the book, and how smart you were to figure out you weren’t going to able to commit the time to it, and how brave you were to be honest about it, and so on…
    And then I saw what I should have known: You were smart enough to figure that out already, without me telling you! And generous enough to share the whole experience on your blog so that the rest of us can remember this when we commit to something that turns out to be more than we can possibly do. Forgiveness, Focus, Freedom and Fun: Yep, that’s what your F means! Good for you, Jodi!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a big revelation, and I felt since I blabbed to the universe that I was doing it, I had to blab that I didn’t succeed in it, but also hope I encouraged others (and myself) that it is OK! Thanks for always being such a great encourager and friend Ann!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Don’t be too hard on yourself Jodi! I think it’s not a failure but a success – because you know yourself and made the right choice for you! You’re so talented – and it would have been nice – but who needs that kind of pressure!! Have fun and enjoy your talent….
    XOXOXO
    Linda~

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Once again beautifully written and this spoke to me. I DO know what it is to realize an over commitment and the need to step away so that I don’t loose myself or what I need. Great job in taking care of yourself and what truly matters in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I love the honesty and vulnerability in your words. I think you’re a terrific painter and I think we sometimes do things freely, creatively and comfortably when there is less pressure or expectation on us to do it.
    I’m glad you made the choice that was best for you. You may not have formal education in your “hobby” but you do it very, very well. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jodi, this is not failure but a lesson learned! You are way too hard on yourself, girl. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time or project and remember that any project needs to be fun and rewarding and not classified as work. This is the reason my mom, who is an oil painter, has never sold or did shows for her paintings. She always has done her work for family and friends and that was fun and rewarding for her. She said the minute she did it for work, the fun would go away. Just take what you can from this and please be gentle to yourself, you are an amazing artist, blogger and person and never forget that! With love and blessings, Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I read this post the other day, Jodi, and couldn’t comment at the time. I was asked to do some illustrations for a book a short while ago, and it was very nice to be asked. I thought about it for a while before realising a lot more goes into it than we first think, and not having the time can be a major factor. I said at the time that I couldn’t do it, but felt really bad and felt I was letting the person down. Had I said yes, the work would probably have been rushed and not what they were expecting, which would have been even worse, so I think the right decision was made. You didn’t fail, so don’t think that way. If we both had more time, I think our decisions would have been different. We can only do what we can do, and that is good in itself. Erase the fail and Feel Good in what you are doing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Tom! You really understand. I do feel good in my decision now. I so appreciate the support and the time you took to share and encourage me! 🙂

      Like

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  29. When your self confidence comes into question it’s time to take a break. I remember a few times when I was asked to sing solo parts for my choir and when I told myself I couldn’t do it, I literally couldn’t do it but when I was confident about a part, no problem. It’s a lesson I passed on to my students. Whenever they said they couldn’t do something I agreed with them because they convinced their brains that they couldn’t. I told them that they had to rewire their brains and tell themselves over and over again “Yes I can.” Sound familiar?

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