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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog January 14, 2024 Risking Failure!

Layers of Life Mixed Media

“Ruins, for me, are the beginning. With the debris you can construct new ideas.”  

Anselm Kiefer

The road to a perfect creation takes time.  It starts with the process of learning various techniques that we will need.  Then it takes practice, practice, and more practice.  There is not a formular for great art.  It evolves over time with knowledge, failure, more knowledge, and many attempts at putting things together.

You hear about the years of learning and practice musicians must have starting with scales, cords, and various pieces before playing in an orchestra.  You hear about the years of training a dancer goes through in hopes of making it to the big time.  There are trash cans full of pages that did not come out right as writers try to put thoughts to paper.  How many takes do actors have to do before they get the scene perfect?  The act of creating takes knowledge and years of practice. We cannot become frustrated, discouraged, and give up when it doesn’t turn out like we hoped.

If we want to learn something, we need to enjoy the journey. Embrace each failure and access what we learned from it. It is with this debris that we can construct our new ideas.  

These moments in our art making as in our life, that look like failure or are disappointing, turn out to be opportunities in disguise.  With each attempt we make that does not work out, comes the opportunity to learn something new, gain knowledge and clarity that can lead us to a successful outcome. It is through working and reworking that we arrive at true originality.

 "Failure is success in progress."  Albert Einstein

All the arts are a process of arranging elements in a way that express ideas and feelings. They encompass a diverse range of human emotions and genres. They can reflect mood and beauty, love of a subject, be a channel for communication, or chronicle history and social issues. They also can be used as a tool for emotional release and therapy. It takes thought and the learning of many different techniques and skills to find what works for us to do it well.

Most important, to be good, it needs to be an instrument of our self-expression. Unique ideas we arrive at, by working and reworking. We take our past knowledge to find new ways of using it that will truly express who we are and what we want to say. But there will be times we look at a creation and think…what was I thinking? Do over!

Failure can be a crucial step on the path to success. Failure makes us stronger because the experience can be analyzed and help us refine our process. Understanding what went wrong is what makes failure the best teacher. Every failed attempt gives us an idea of what doesn't work and what could work.

"It is when you risk failure that you discover things. When you play it safe, you're not expressing the utmost of your human expression." Lupita Nuong'o

Happy New Year! May it be a creative on for each of you. Risk trying something new!  Carolyn



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