Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to Use Failure to Your Advantage

Tea Pot #1 by Laura Wasilowski
Here's an idea for you: try to be a failure as an artist.

Creating art is hard. You have to make all these decisions! We make art and timidly ask ourselves, "Am I doing this right? " "What do I do next?" Or my favorite, "What in the heck am I doing!"
Tea Pot #2 by Laura Wasilowski
When we make art we are afraid to fail. We are afraid of criticism and rejection and, my favorite, looking like an idiot.

But be assured you are not the only idiot in the room. It's a common feeling for artists to feel that grim specter of failure hovering over them. There's a voice that says "You can't do this!" But here's an idea: embrace that dreaded specter. Invite him in for tea. Offer him a cookie. Be fearless!
Tea Pot #3 by Laura Wasilowski
In other words, make lots of art and fail as often as you like. Get good at it. Each failed art piece brings you knowledge. Each messed up pile of junk is priceless. Make lots of art. Thumb your nose at that nay saying specter. Live fearless of failure! (And drink lots of tea.)


Edie said...

Why are these failures?I love them, especially number two. Is it for sale?

Could you talk abit about the things that you see as failures so i can better understand?


Gene Black said...

One trick artists use to "turn off" the critic voice, is to have instrumental music playing (no words!) This helps to distract the verbal side of the brain - the part that uses WORDS to criticise.

Laura Wasilowski said...

Hi Edie,

The quilts illustrating my post or are necessarily failures but they are stepping stones to creating my next piece of art work. When I look at them now (years after they were made) I see what I was learning about my art making at the time and how I would make them differently now. For example, I would add hand stitching to add more detail to the surface.

YankeeQuilter said...

and eat lots of cookies....jus sayin'

Thanks for the words of encouragement!

Doreen said...

Gene's suggestion is one I utilize all the time. Wordless music (classical, contemporary classical, "soundscapes") fills the background without interrupting the creative/problem solving part of the brain.

The Invisible Woman said...

Great perspective. Celebrate Failure! I think that would help us non-artists to FEEL artistic... and a bit rebellious all at the same time!

: )

shawn said...

Thanks for the encouragement!