The start of this year that I was down in London for an interview for a scholarship for Harvard. The scholarship was through the Kennedy Trust. eight receive a Scholarship each year. Sadly I didn’t get it, but was pleased to get to the last twenty-five. I’m cool with that, here’s why. Firstly I was able to smash out my two new websites in time, which wouldn’t have been done without lighting a fire under my ass! Was able to get my references sorted out, which we’re fire btw (Janine and Sasha). Secondly the experience was a real eye opener, surrounded in a room by some of the smartest people, some with multiple degrees from Oxbridge, was a good experience to ground me. I rarely try to compare myself with other people, envy isn’t my sort of thing. Instead I only look to learn from others, and in this case I learnt that these people really deserved to get in.
I owe a huge amount to my sister Sarah who helped me write my application letter, I know my weaknesses and writing is one of them but I am related to someone who is a genius in this department. The whole Harvard interview experience was very intense! I didn’t realise the extent of the situation until I check who had graduated Harvard. I applied simply based upon what I always tell myself, “whats the worst that could happen?” The interview was held at London in Parliament Square, I used to showing my work visually and I hate wearing a suit. The point I realised I was out of depth was when one of the other interviewers turned to me and said.
“I just spoke with a girl who just came back from performing facial reconstructive surgery on children in developing countries… She helped a child speak again.”
These were the people who really deserved to get in.
I wanted to use this piece to really voice my opinions on winning/loosing. Understand the vast majority of your heroes you look up to in any industry practice or discipline likely have had their fair share of losses. I’m often asked about my work and where I am right now. To start I am only a few years into my career as an illustrator and I’m really humbled that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds leading brands on projects. But don’t get me wrong, while serendipity has a huge amount to play in my work, there has still been a huge number of greasy rungs that I have had to climb. In order to get there I’ve had to experience a whole bunch of losses. I received an email recently in the body of the email was “your so lucky”.
I am not lucky.
Everything we share online is pretty much curated now, we’re all guilty of it, so when I share that I’m working with a new client or posting some work that’s come to fruition, that’s cool. But realise there were probably 5/6 other things that likely fell through in order to get there, and that’s not even taking into account all the hours I put into my craft. So I experience failure everyday. It’s often hard to mistake not success with winning or loosing. I always look to my intent of my work and view each action as 1>0.
I still attribute failure to learning and learning through mistakes wouldn’t be possible without things not going according to plan. If there is one thing you take away from this piece it’s this. Often its not about winning or loosing, it comes down to whats fair. It’s what’s fair than actually winning. What value does come out of that experience is more important to me, and if my intent was there, then that’s fine with me. “From the ashes of disaster, grow the roses of success.”
PS: I appreciate your feedback when it comes to typos & errors I make in my writings.