Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Allow Yourself to Fail!

In the quote I posted earlier about failure I wanted to point out how important it is to allow yourself to fail. In teaching small children I had a plaque over the art room door that said," Mistakes are Welcome Here!". Children learn very early that doing something that does not meet an adults expectations of them in action or deed is a "Mistake".When teachers start marking a red x on mistakes in spelling or math, it is not long before I started seeing art work with big X's on them. In kindergarten children are usually still free in their expression in art, but by the time first grade comes along, so do the x's. I tried very hard to overcome this with children by explaining what they feel is a mistake is part of the learning process, in art and life. WE HAVE TO MAKE MISTAKES TO LEARN! When children and adults learn to fear making a mistake it builds a fear inside that blocks learning.

If you set out with one result in mind, and something else happens that is a process of learning, like scientific discovery. It is a range of what if's, and possibilities.

Artists used to be allowed to have a total career where experimentation was allowed and not judged. When the Medici's supported artist they did so for a life time, gave them a place to live, food to eat, and time to create.(http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/battle.html) Now critics and collectors are less generous, if an artists needs to go through a period to explored or move from one media or thought process, he is thought to be having problems. And some artists only do what is successful in a show for money, and you will see it over and over again because they fear change.
Please make mistakes, allow yourself to fail, allow yourself to learn without the albatross of fear hanging over your head. Mistakes are sometimes the best things we do!
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