Some of you may recognize the man in this photo, but I'm sure many of you have never heard of him before. His name is Eugene Kranz and this photo was taken on May 30, 1965 during a Gemini-Titan IV simulation. I have never met Mr. Kranz, but I have read his books and heard his lectures time and time again. To many, he is a complete unknown; but to me, he is a hero. Gene Kranz, through his life's work in Mission Control, is what inspired me to get my life together, learn from my mistakes, and figure out how to face failure and keep moving forward.
“To recognize that the greatest error is not to have tried and failed, but that in trying, we did not give it our best effort.” -Gene Kranz
I am writing this article now because AnthroBrand has finally come of age. The new has worn off, everyone I know is well aware of what it is, and now it's hit a point where it just seems to exist rather than excite. From one creative individual to another, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. We see this all the time on Twitter. From simple things like, "I'm really unsatisfied with my art smh" to "reply hello if you can see this, I feel like no one is looking at my art lately." This is something that we are all going to face at one point or another, and it's never fun. You begin to feel like you're failing at your craft, and that is truly the worst.
Every now and again, I will ask myself why I am doing this. Why write these articles? Why spend money every month to keep this site going? Why promote trying to bring everyone together when there is just so much toxicity out there? I suppose the answer to all of these questions is rather selfish. In truth, I'm doing it for myself. I'm the one who wants to see everyone enjoy the Anthro community. I'm the one who wants everyone to let go of all the toxicity. This is my passion project and it's something I believe in. I'm putting everything I have into AnthroBrand, and even if no-one reads these anymore; I'm going to keep at it.
There will always be times when we feel like something isn't worth it anymore. Those times when it seems like no one is looking, so why bother to keep going? That kind of validation, however, isn't how you should define success. If you are creating something and those creations fulfil you as a person, then it doesn't really matter if anyone looks. Find your passion and keep it close to your heart. No matter what it is, it's worth it, even when no-one's watching.
“Entering the twenty-first century, we have an unimaginable array of technology and a generation of young Americans schooled in these technologies. With our powerful economy, we can do anything we set our mind to do. Yet we stand with our feet firmly planted on the ground when we could be exploring the universe.” -Gene Kranz
I know Mr. Kranz's story, almost by heart. From the first days of rocketry and the infamous "four-inch flight," all the way through to his retirement in 1994 after STS-61 to repair the Hubble Telescope. In my eyes, this man is nothing short of a legend. He was a critical part of bringing an entire nation's dream to life, and his accomplishments are a huge part of what inspire me to do the same within the Anthro community. My goals haven't changed: I want to bring everyone together and let go of the toxicity that has plagued our community for far too long. No, I won't ever get anyone to the moon, and I am not nearly as wise or as great a leader; but I have learned that if I don't pursue what I believe in, then that will be the only true failure that anyone can ever accuse me of.
I have seen many members of the Anthro community who are somehow involved in the space program and I hope that they too, have a hero like Gene Kranz. In fact, it's something I wish for everyone. I'm not saying that you should idolize someone to the point of obsessing, but having a hero to inspire you in times when you feel like you're failing at your craft really does help. Even if that person isn't involved in what you do, the resolve and accomplishments of others can go a long way to show you exactly what is possible; and how strong you can be.
Success and failure, in the end, can only be defined by you. Comparing yourself to those around you will never get you anywhere and seeking validation in the form of views, followers, or comments is just another way to add stress and remove the passion from your projects. AnthroBrand is not a failure and I'm going to keep on writing~ I hope that these articles will have an impact somehow, somewhere, and that I can actually help to bring the community together while cutting down on the overall toxicity levels. I know there are so many good people here, and I can't wait to meet you all.