Blog

no such thing as doing it wrong

August 1, 2018

Most of all, there is this truth: No matter how great your teachers may be, and no matter how esteemed your academy’s reputation, eventually you will have to do the work by yourself. Eventually, the teachers won’t be there anymore.
Elizabeth Gilbert

This quote is absolutely perfect because it is exactly the point I try to get across to my students. The thing I seek most when I teach is to give my students the skills to figure stuff out when I’m NOT there.

The only two rules I have in any of my classes are these: “no masterpieces allowed,” and no “I can’t.” As soon as a student starts to worry about getting something wrong or making something exactly right, then she is inhibited, stalled, and working from a place of fear rather than from a place of creative exploration.

What is the worst that can happen if you make a mistake?
(Seriously – figure it out and write it down. Right now. It probably isn’t nearly as bad as you think.)
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.
Neil Gaiman
 
I’m a huge fan of making mistakes. Sometimes they are the most valuable part of the learning process but only if you stop and learn from the mess you just made. The process of analysis is key to progression when you are an artist.

Ask questions of yourself such as, “WHY do I love or hate this?” “WHAT about this is important to me?” and “HOW did this technique go awry and what can I do differently next time” Ask yourself, “Was this really a mistake or is it the next thing I need to add into my work?” You never know when feeling free enough to make bad art will lead to the best art you’ve made yet.

What is the question you need to ask yourself next time you make a mistake?
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