Matt’s story demonstrates his persistence:
One month, during my apprenticeship under a Korean master potter, I experienced a great deal of bad luck with the pieces I was making, mostly smaller pieces. Thunder shook the studio enough to knock one piece off a shelf during a storm; another piece melted onto mine in the kiln. For the next month I worked on the biggest and best piece I had ever made. It took an entire month for this one piece alone. One day, I came in to put the finishing touches on it before it would be ready to be fired. My streak of bad luck had not ended because I came in to find a pile of clay pieces from my collapsed artwork. I found out that the clay I had used was bad, and of course decided to find a new, more reliable clay company to buy my clay from.
So after a month of work all gone down the drain on what was to be the best piece I had ever made at the time, my persistence and commitment to excellence would not let me give up, even in what seemed like the worst streak of luck in the world. I was disappointed and frustrated, and at the point where most people may have just given up entirely, but I used it to fuel my goal of making the piece even better this time. I took another month working from scratch with new clay from the beginning all over again. I finally finished it.
This time, the piece was even bigger, and even better than what it would have been before. I put everything I had into it and was extremely pleased with the final product. I ended up being able to put this piece in many different art shows and won several awards and scholarships for it. I had many people eager to buy it, for over $1,000 even, but I wasn’t ready to let go of a piece that I could still profit from in shows and scholarships. I earned the highest award from a local organization and earned a scholarship, as well as a space in the window of a prestigious downtown art gallery.
This experience reaffirms for me that I should never give up on any goal I have for myself and that I’m capable of getting through anything I put myself up against. My persistence and goal-focused drive keep me thriving in a world of uncontrollable factors and setbacks. My ability to work through any circumstance and solve problems got me to a finished product that I could be proud of and even help pay for my college experience.