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Why Even the Pros Fail

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Jan 03

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A Lifetime of Failing

After I made today’s episode I had a few minutes to reflect on it. I realized something that is probably a bit more deep. To be an expert at anything requires failing over and over again. The important part is that you learn from your failures and move on.

If you are not failing, you are not getting better.

I failed so many times today because I made something that was pretty good over and over. What I wanted to make was something amazing. On the 9th time, I did.

Today’s Episode Timeline

  • 0:22 – Hemingway cared to get things right.
  • 1:20 – Why doing something over and over again
  • 3:00 – It is ok to completely ruin something
  • 3:50 – Going through this week’s Phlearn PRO
  • 5:20 – Painting everything by hand
  • 8:40 – Deconstructing the Image

phlearn pro blacksmith

  • Rafael Javier

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!  I’ve gotta get that PRO….

  • Nick Bedford

    I just ordered a Wacom Intuos4 Small to help in my apparently increasing amount of photo manipulation (retouching / minor corrections so far, nothing like this). This will definitely be on my list to grab!

    I totally agree though. I think the biggest thing that you didn’t really mention directly is that if you’re pushing yourself to succeed in this kind of project, you’re learning a great deal about how to do it in the future. And with that, you can say, “Okay. It took time at first, but now I can add [this] and [that] to my list of new skills, however experimental they may be.” You’ve expanded your horizons doing this Phlearn PRO.


  • Roman

    Alright. You made me lough. Good job ;)
    And the image is good to :P

  • Sebastian Ortiz

    Well, I’ll be….. Thought we lost you for second, Great job, Aaron…. Now I can go to sleep fulfilled… Thanks… LOL!!!

  • James Bennett

    Aaron, do you ever have to go look-up how to achieve an effect like sparks or fire? OR is it all just emblazoned upon your subconscious?

  • Reem

    this is great!! clearly it took you a loooong time to get to the final image but Aaron!! every small detail is amazing!! I felt like the photo was taken from one of those dragon movies :P
    I love the fact that you painted in the photo as well :)
    you’re funny :P

  • James Warwood

    great advice. totally fits it with my new years resolution. do not accept something “that will do”. always strive for awesomeness!

  • James Warwood

    Ok, something I’ve been thinking about for a while is how Phlearn as a community has only minimal interaction between itself. I know Aaron wants this to get better and is looking at the best way for that to be done. What suggestions do you guys have? What would you be happy with and feel the best way to connect and discuss things with fellow Plearnaholics? I always feel people and conversations can get lost when discussing things in the daily video comment section (probably not the best place to post this then!).

    I think if we all start connecting with each other through our various sites/blogs/pages we’ll all build a better base of people to a) sound ideas off, b) show work to and c) receive constructive feedback.

    Just my thoughts.

    I’m happy to get the ball rolling and try to connect with people.

    You can find me at various places

    Facebook –

    Flickr –

    Twitter - @jameswarwood:twitter 

    I’m very happy to follow/link you back and engage in any type of photography talk. :D

  • Jenna Petrone

    Wow, that image turned out amazing.  I just finished watching your Fairy Phlearn Pro the other day where you did some painting and you said it was a lot of trial and error.  I can’t imagine how long it took you to do this image with 10x more painting.  It really goes to show how much you challenge yourself.

    I personally haven’t tried painting in photoshop yet, that could be one of the new challenges I can take this year for improving in my photography and photoshop skills.

    I’m sure once you get this Phlearn Pro recorded to a point where you’re happy with, this community will be really excited to see it and they will appreciate your effort you put into it all the more.

  • Laura Wick

    That picture is ridiculously amazing!! Just curious. How long did it take you to edit?

  • Dale Antony Richards

    “I did not fail, I found 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb” – Thomas Edison (When questioned about his early attempts at making a lightbulb)

  • Aaron Nace

    Thanks so much Nick!

  • janiecakes

    That was very good advice Aaron and the image was amazing and inspiring. Makes me want to get to sketching :)  

    I also love how you laugh at your own funny comments. You crack yourself up. Too much fun.

  • DJ

    you make me crack up in every episode. great work and thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Yo Mama

    You continue to amaze me

  • Photographybymel

    wow, it looks like an amazing episode. Thanks for all your hard work. 

  • Josh Cutillo

    Awesome as usual aaron !!!! Sha Bang Bang!!

  • Alfonso

    To Aaron:

    I struck me how Amelia Fletcher is such a great artist herself~!

    This make me think a couple of thinks:
    First, working together, she must get inspired by you, but I cannot stop thinking that the other way around is as true~!

    I love her works as much as yours, and I can see the potential, to aim big~!

    Once I’ve read that is really important have good people around you, to build your streght…
    The Phamily could be a marketing trick, but I’m more then willing to believe it~!

    Thank you guys for inspiring me :)

  • Li Cheng

    “If you are not failing, you are not getting better.”

  • Li Cheng

    I do wish I could achieve this some day…

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