Published August 1, 2022 Shoutout LA
We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Gass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
With very few exceptions, my best experiences and most satisfying projects in life have come from risk-taking. Taking risks has enabled me to learn new skills, taught me to be more comfortable with the unknown and discomfort. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if I hadn’t taken the risk of walking away from a successful career in the software industry where I was managing large projects alongside brilliant and wonderful colleagues. But I wasn’t doing what I love, and it was time to do what I love, to make art full time. I view risk taking as a necessary part of staying true to my vision for life and art. I go through plenty of ups and downs with those risks. The beginning is charged with the excitement of embarking on a new idea. Then the reality of not knowing how to do it sets in and that old emotion of fear of failure tries to take over. Risk taking definitely includes a lot of type-2 fun: miserable while it’s happening and fun to look back on. I’ve found the best way to deal with the fear is with what I’ve learned from long-distance backpacking: if you just keep taking one step at a time, you can travel more miles than you thought possible. I break large problems into smaller problems that are easier to solve. I do experiments and tests, almost as a methodical form of play. Sometimes I’m successful in solving the problems and other times I fail. I can be stubborn and the failures make me feel even more determined to find a solution. I’ve learned that failures are a form of success because it if you are willing to analyze your failures, it often leads to the solution.
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