“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill
It started with an exciting idea – what If I could make a playable piece of art?
I bought a cheap homemade guitar body online, collected affordable parts including a brand-less neck and low cost electronics, and set forth with the expectation that I would have a custom guitar that’s both visually appealing and musical.
In the end, I made a guitar shaped paper weight.
The process was tedious, yet satisfying. I applied around 40 coats of paint, glitter, and lacquer. Then, I taped off the individual frets (what a pain in the ass) so I could paint the fingerboard.
The first sign of trouble was when the tape pulled some paint off the fingerboard. Oh well, I figured, maybe no one will notice.
Next, I bought a clear plastic pickguard. It looked so cool when I was done painting the underside in reverse. This would prevent any paint from scraping. How clever, right? Turns out, this was the only thing I did right.
When I tried to attach the neck to the body, I drilled right through the fretboard.
I knew this was the beginning of the end, and that my little guitar would never be plugged in and played.
Of course the plastic was too frail. It broke when screening the tone plate down.
There was no point to even wire the electronics.
From a distance, I really love the aesthetic of the guitar. It turned out visually almost exactly how I had imagined.
The point is… I have failed at many projects. I have ruined paintings, made tattoos that I wasn’t happy with, and written song lyrics that make me want to puke. All of these failures have roused me to work harder, be more thoughtful, and find ways to appreciate aspects of my mistakes. In this way, I have been able to find success in even the most frustrating absolute failures.
I have another guitar body, so maybe I’ll try again. Or maybe I’ll just call a luthier…