Sometimes, if not all times, art truly speaks to me in a very real way. I learn so many lessons about life within every aspect of the creation process from beginning, to middle, to end, and it simply blows me away. One of my favorite lessons is actually a concept that I’ve always considered, but I had trouble structuring my views on it until I began working with my crafts and seeing it’s analogies at every turn and in crevice. It’s been a monumental lesson for me to learn and take in not only as I journey through my work, but as I journey through life. You see, what I’ve come to realize is that mistakes?… welp, quite simply put: they don’t exist.
Yep, you heard me right. They don’t exist! Isn’t that fun?? HUGE weight lifted! And I mean it- they don’t exist in art, and they don’t exist in life either… at least not in the way that we think.
See, mistakes are typically seen as “bad”. We don’t want to make mistakes. We regret mistakes. We wish we could avoid mistakes. But the truth is that everything truly has a purpose and a reason for existence, with the ability to be learned from and grown from… even and especially those glorious things called “mistakes”. There is beauty within all of it, and this is especially true in art! When we create a color, an image, a line, a shape, a whatever-it-is that we don’t like and didn’t quite intend to create, at least not in the way that it turned out, there is an array of possibility within it. Allow me to break it down for ya.
In my experience, I’ve found that there are three general approaches to a “mistake” that we can take (I’ve got that word in quotes now and that’s where it will stay, because it doesn’t exist. It’s a made up word to carry anxiety, self-doubt, negative criticism, fear, and dwelling and I won’t allow it in my blog without it’s quote shackles, muahahahaaaaa). In artistic terms, they go as follows…
1.) We can turn it into something– use the colors within it and build another image/color/shape/line/whatever from it. In this case, we must get creative and use our imaginations, which is always fun and can lead us to new things that we may not have had the motivation to explore without that “mistake”. This can involve some initial anxiety or fear, but once we learn to let go of that we are able to see the beauty of evolution before our very eyes and it becomes exciting; something to be proud of and look forward to!
2.) We can paint over it. This one’s easy enough right? Wrong. This option isn’t always an easy one to endure, as the one thing it requires from us is an attribute that oftentimes we have difficulty tapping into- patience. Because before we can paint anything over anything, we have to let it dry, otherwise we risk mixing colors that we don’t want to mix and carrying the “mistake” that we don’t want showing into the final product. Some “mistakes” take more time than others to dry, and that’s okay… patience is and always will be a virtue, so we should be grateful for the opportunity to practice it and focus our attention on the enjoyment of working in other areas while we wait.
3.) (This one’s my favorite) We can leave it be. Learn to love it. Accept that “mistake” and allow it to show proudly in the final product of our masterpiece, telling a beautiful story. Sometimes this story is funny, sharing a good laugh regarding how it came about and the light-hearted fun that was had in the process of creation; sometimes it represents frustration that was involved in creating the piece, which is just as beautiful because the fact that it is finished despite the frustration is a testament in itself to thestrength and diligence cultivated in the experience. And there are times that we make that choice consciously to allow it to remain, while other times we simply have no choice because it’s too significant to cover or build, in which case we learn to practice acceptance and love for our work despite our ideals and original expectations not being met. Either way you look at it, there’s beauty to be seen in any “mistake” and while I, myself, have difficulty at times with accepting my own “mistakes”, I’m ultimately always grateful for them and have become a huge fan of seeing that transparency of the process of creation within the final product.
You see, “mistakes” are simply a part of our story- our masterpiece- that we didn’t expect. But they’re essential in some way, shape, or form, and are beautiful aspects of our journey. They’re meant to be there, whether we originally knew and expected it or not; the key thing to remember is that the world does not revolve around our expectations. Just because something does not turn out to be the way that we expected it to be does not render it a “mistake”; it renders it right, it renders it essential, it renders it beautiful… but it most certainly does not render it to be wrong. We are wrong for thinking it’s wrong. And when we learn to see just how right it is, and trust ourselves to take the approach to it that is necessary by following our intuition and accepting the process, not only do we allow ourselves to enjoy the experience more, but we open ourselves up to a world of gratitude and appreciation once we are finally able to step back and take a look at how it’s all coming together in the big picture. I always tell me classes to remember Monet. His paintings were a hot mess up close and personal! But when you took a step or two back to look at the piece, you saw a beautiful, dreamy image brought together not by a gathering of anxiety-filled perfection, but brought together by a large area of collective messes that I can only imagine were a joyful bliss to create.
Now that we have the weight of looming possibilities of “mistakes” off of our shoulders… let’s go make a mess of this world, shall we?
Live in love! ❤