The strangest approach, towards innovation and creativity that I have ever witnessed is being scared or ashamed of making mistakes. It is not that I didn’t have that strange approach or my ego did not stop me from doing anything that would go wrong or lead me to some kind of embarrassment. It rather infected most of my journey, and i am sure , many of us have done that in one way , or other. We hide them, we run away from them, we disown them, and in this process of denial we often forget that learning is the most beautiful thing we can do, to turn our mistakes into steps of enlightenment.
IF I speak solely about my creative journey, I had to start with all the mistakes i made . We are born with an untouched mind, with no brainwashing or ego affecting our creative journey. Each day we learn something and it impacts the way we see the world around us. This is not a negative thing, but in this process of learning we often become strangely rigid. We start expecting the world around us to celebrate us, to cheer for the knowledge we gather , but mistakes come in our ways, and our society is not designed to channelise mistakes into something beautiful. but in art, we are given a chance to make mistakes, play , fall , learn and then gather all the experience to create skills which will eventually reflect who we are.
I do not remember the first time I picked up a pencil, but I do remember how flawed i was (I still am!), and how badly I wanted to become better with my drawing skills so that I can express my thoughts. It was like learning a language to express and talk. I could have chosen dance, music or anything, ( bengali families are always ready to offer any artistic education to their kids!) but anything other than visual arts couldn’t Hold my attention for long. its like knowing many languages, but always finding peace in speaking in one particular one which allows you to express easily! I loved drawing people and sadly they didn’t end up looking like anyone from earth! but the interesting thing about this process of trying and failing was that I knew where i was going wrong, and I found ways to make it better. Quitting never occurred in my mind as an option. Not being controlled or dominated by mistakes were definitely my strength, and that gave me all the dedication to choose what i want in life. That is the first thing I learnt from mistakes, it can show you what you actually want, and for what you are ready to get up , every time you fall, and try again.
Mistakes came in my life as choices too. at the age when all my peers were deciding what career they will be choosing, the colleges they wanted to be in, the degrees they desired , the education they wanted, choosing art slowly started sounding like a child’s play , more specifically not a mature thing to do! schools taught us about famous artists, but never taught us how to become one!
Schools taught us about famous artists, but never taught us how to become one!
There I made a mistake again, to take up science and thinking that I will make a better life that way. I tried climbing a tree without realising i was a fish, who was born to swim. eventually I stopped studying completely and only painted all day and night,eventually messed up the education I opted for but had a great portfolio of sketches. but again from that mistake of misunderstanding my own strength, I realised what I am born to do. If only this society was designed to find out the strength of kids , instead of pushing them into the que, we would have stronger individuals with a content heart. I again realised that art is the only place where I am ready to work hard even if I fail everyday! my mistake led me to my dream and gave me the hope to rectify and try again!
I tried to get into art college and i failed again, and the whole scene seemed like another mistake, a nightmare where you have nowhere to go. but this time, I felt like I must stand up again, brush off the dirt of failure and try again, I did. and I got into an art college!! in this stage, my mistake taught me that determination can make things happen, and giving up is one thing I cannot afford to do with art!
I fell in love with watercolours, and i was scared of it too, I messed up everyday. but I knew this is worth trying and I would give it try everyday even if I fail.. how beautifully we choose our path in our lives everyday.. not on the basis of what we can do, but on the basis of what mistakes we can afford to make,keeping the hope alive in our heart. Some call it fate, I call it mistakes, learning and choices that mould our paths.
Today I am a professional artist, I paint and I earn my living by creating art and by expressing my deepest emotions and telling stories. when I look back, all the mistakes gave me wisdom, which I channelise into art and understanding today. today I live the dream , that the 4 year old me dreamt of. but still i would not go back in time to warn my younger self of the mistakes she will be doing. I am glad I made those mistakes and that makes me who I am today. That led me to my dreams, that gave me the strength to work with all my heart and soul.
All the mistakes smile at me, like an old teacher from school, and tells me to make more, just to learn something new tomorrow. I still sit everyday to paint something that i feel i cannot do. make mistakes, learn from it.. and continue to do the same untill i master it or to understand , where I should put my energy in!
Today, I sat to write down all the mistakes but this ended up looking like a process.
A process where a dream took shape, a child learned to express, an adult learned to cope, a person chosing discomfort over ease, an artist was born and stories took shape.
The mistakes were indeed my beautiful process.
4 thoughts on “Mistakes or process?”
I just finished watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory on Netflix, where two of the main characters Sheldon and Amy are struggling to cope with a big professional failure. Sheldon, during this time, accidentally sees this old video recording of his father giving a pep talk to his team as their soccer coach, when they are at the verge of losing. And in it, he says, that just because losing the game seems certain, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t play anyway. We learn as much from failures as we learn from successes, sometimes perhaps more.
It touched me deeply. And then I saw you’ve written about mistakes in today’s post too. Serendipitous, right? Hahaha. Completely agree with what you say here. Mistakes aren’t just setbacks, they are guides that teach us what needs to be fixed, what needs to be grown. I like that.
What a coincidence!!! Now i must see the series too! And trust me mistakes have helped me so much! That even success couldn’t!
A very beautiful article indeed. This is a very very important lesson that each and everyone should learn. I used to look at errors with the eye of an artist when I was really young. But eventually as I grew older, I stopped accepting errors. But when I met you, you have helped me rediscover the talent of accepting the errors and channelizing it into something magnificent. Please keep writing more.
Thank you soooo much for the beautiful comment, and encouraging me to write!! I feel grateful!
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