Failure CV - How Epic Fails Changed My Life

Failure CV - How Epic Fails Changed My Life - student project

My Failure CV


My biggest failures have been my best.  They've changed my life.  I've learnt a lot about myself and probably become more understanding as a result.  It's the little everyday failures I stil struggle with, especially my fear of failure.

Often the pressure I put on myself to not fail means that I end up failing anyway.  Fear of failure and failure of fear.  The result then is that I freeze and won't act (procrastinate).

Thing is if you don't take those steps to move forward, true, you won't trip, but you also won't get anywhere.



Going to boarding school at the age of 11 and not being able to cope.  I came home after about 6 weeks and REFUSED to go back.  This tore at my parent's relationship, I lost all the bright bonny little girl confidence I had.  I then was so traumatised and so mistrusting that I refused to go back to school until the start of year 8 (8th grade if you're American).

Me at boarding school in the weekly Sunday parade.

When I re-entered school I found that being away for so long meant that I'd also lost all my social skills and was unable to communicate with people my own age.

I'm not sure whether the fail was going to that school in the first place, not sticking it out or missing ten months of education (not that my grades were impacted, it was more the social stuff that was hard).

At lease I found the determination in the end to face the music and go back to school.  I couldn't stay home forever.  I found bravery. And the experience allowed me to see things differently and meant I was able to support a close friend in a meaningful way when she went through a similar (albeit much worse) experience.

2007 - 2009

Failing to take art A level

At the start of sixth form I was going to take art but then changed my mind and did drama instead... which was rubbish.  

I had loved drawing and painting my whole life thus far but I had been completely put off studying it by the secondary school I was in after the boarding school fiasco.  My secondary school art teacher had had the best intentions but he was weird and dark, turning everyone's work into mutilated faces and death whether that was in their artistic interest or not, and it definitely wasn't in mine.

However I took up art again in my second year of sixth form (age 17) having wasted a year doing drama which I wasn't any good at and didn't enjoy because I couldn't be bothered to shout over all the insane overly extroverted drama queens in the class.

At least I learnt what I should have been doing.

2009 - 2010

Only getting a pass in Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

So not technically a fail but it felt like one to me.  Awful year.  I used to daydream that a bus would run me over.  I'm not sure what I learnt from this.  Maybe that's something I need to think about.


Hanging out with the wrong people at university

i.e. emotionally moronic idiots, back-stabbers, dick heads.  I somehow kidded myself into thinking they were my friends and that they knew something about how to treat others.  I think it was a lack of confidence on my part.  Anyway I ended up getting completely screwed over by one girl in particular on my birthday.  I'm glad it happened though.  It was a wakeup call.  Sometimes you need to really epic fail to realise how much on the wrong path you are.

In the summer of 2012 I ditched these people and hung out with some real friends and had WAY more fun.


Drunkenly falling on my face and having concussion for a month

This is actually one of my favourite fails because I learnt a lot about myself and it was also part of what taught me who my real friends were.

AND it tied into an urban ramblers project at uni.  While lying in bed with a concussed brain, I started seeing the parallels between urban decay, fear and my bruised and battered face so I went out and produced these photos (my old art teacher would be proud!):

You can read more about the project on my blog:

2010 - 2014


This is my biggest fail that I'm still battling.  I've made myself ill from stress.  I think it's the fear of failure that makes me not want to start a project.  It somehow got worse through my three years at uni.  I felt like I could never get it right, so why bother?  But I had to bother.

In the end I've learnt not to take criticism to heart, especially when it comes to art and design.  Everyone has their own taste.  Their opinion is neither 'right' or 'wrong' although it may be more experienced.  

However, the important thing is to be confident in your own judgement of your work.  Don't beat yourself up but learn from your mistakes.


Being scared of being creative

This was closely related to my fear of failure.  People expect me to be good at art and things like that.  I felt I couldn't live up to this expectation so it was safer to do nothing. Doing nothing has been my biggest failure... but I'm changing!


I am now 35 days into a self set 180 day drawing challenge.  The idea actually came from a friend (he was going to do a 180 days of coding and actually still hasn't started) but I took it up and decided to do 180 consecutive days of drawing not only so I'd get better at it but more importantly to conquer my fears.

I'm posting my drawings every day on my blog and on facebook

Thanks for reading and I wish you the absolute best of luck with your own challenges :)