Art, risks, fear, failure: it’s all correlated | #Career

So, today, I watched this video at the Business Insider Facebook page, and it made me think a lot. But, before I start talking about this, let’s watch it. It’s super short (1:35), and I assure you it’s worth it.


Ok, I know some of you may be thinking “that’s a bunch of corporate bullshit, a lot of blah blah blah, a cheap ‘self-help’ lecture….”. Yeah, of course we can see it like that, but, let me tell you how I fell about it and what i think it has to do with your audio careers. Maybe it’ll change your mind…

If you now me enough (in person or not), you probably have noticed: I am an introverted, insecure person. That shows up in many different ways in my life and career. And this insecurity has a lot to do with my fear of failure. For years I have debated this with my physiotherapist, until the point I could face risks in a better way. It was a long and hard process, that is still not over (I can’t say how many times I have to fight with myself to forget the fear of failure and face risks), but has gotten much better than before.

Why the hell I’m telling you all of this?

Well, our professions (no matter if you’re a composer, sound designer, sound engineer, or all of them) have a lot to do with creating things. Sometimes, art. And to create something good, we need to take risks, face our insecurities and fail many times. Why?! Because we don’t create things for us to keep in our hard-drives. Our creations must be presented to the world, and have the chance of being publicly analyzed and criticized. And we need those critics, to be able to grow and get better. We need to fail, otherwise we can’t know what we’re doing wrong! That can be kind of scary, right?!

And, because it can be scary, many times, we just don’t do it. Think about yourself: how many times you have not finished that song, or didn’t send out your sound design demo reel for that prospect, because of the fear of being judged? Even worst: how many of us have thought about giving up our careers because of the fear of the future, fear that we’re not good enough for this, even though we may have already had some projects under your portfolio, that tells us otherwise?! I know I did, and still do.

So, that’s where the video above can help. Because, as she says, we need to start realizing that failure is not the result of doing something wrong, failure is not trying to do something because of the fear we have. Although this may sound cheesy, it can help us a lot to become better professionals: facing failure this way will make us try more, create more, and get better. Ok, it can be painful to be criticized (the internet has become the ultimate land of trolls and stupid people), but it’s important to listen to criticism from people that are more qualified and have more experience than us.

And, trust me, I’m not saying that from the top of the pyramid, trying to give you “the successful man advice” hahaha Not at all!!! I’m down there, with all of you, trying to climb up. Actually, I’m going thru a scary career moment right now: months ago, I have moved from São Paulo (Brazil) all the way to Vancouver (Canada), without knowing anyone, and trying to make a BIG career change – from a music mixing focused career, to sound designing for games. Also I’m still trying to get my first gig here, trying to meet new people, make connections and new friends. It’s fucking hard, but if I didn’t go thru it, I would regret for the rest of my life. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but at least I’m trying hard enough to know that if it doesn’t, it wasn’t my fault. We can’t control everything, right?!

So, I hope this text can make you think about your creation process, and how to face the risks that our profession put in front of us every day. 🙂

Mauricio Ruiz –



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