Life lessons from Bob Ross,
“There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”
Creative mistakes can be debilitating to both beginning artists and more practiced artists. It is imperative that that we learn to release the desire for perfection and make way for the happy accidents that make our creative efforts so meaningful. When I was a younger artist, I allowed my own creative mistakes to frustrate me to the point of giving up on many occasions. As I have matured into my practice, I have learned to embrace them. Some of my favorite works of art began as complete accidents! These “mistakes” breathe life in to my art.
I have come to embrace creative practices that relinquish control and invite fluidity. I love to witness the process unfold before me, to guide me to whatever it wants to become. I am learning to embrace the journey! Attempting to control every detail and outcome led me to frustration, while embracing the creative journey led me to deeper understanding and creative freedom.
Try this fun playful mandala.
This little prompt uses symmetry prints to create a very imperfect and whimsical mandala. Creating imperfect art allows us to explore without expectations. It allows us to embrace the beauty in the happy little accidents!
There is so much beauty to be found in the imperfect. Why is it that we as humans tend to get stuck aiming for perfection? Why do we hold such high expectations of ourselves? Why do we let those expectations stop us from creating, from trying, from living fully?
I encourage you to spend some time noticing the imperfect beauty that surrounds you daily. Perhaps it is the crooked smile of a loved one, or a pretty flower growing up in the crack of a sidewalk.
“On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity” by Ellen J. Langer. She discusses how creativity is not reserved for the select few, but instead how it belongs to everyone. She backs her ideas by her own scientific research.
Creating intuitively can help you connect more fully with yourself. It can help you process your own thoughts and feelings, not to mention it is a very relaxing way to create.
So how do you create intuitively? Begin by giving yourself permission to explore and play with your art supplies, regardless of the outcome. Release all judgement and expectation. Follow your curiosity and let your imagination lead you.
Try this: On a blank piece of paper, purposefully spill some paint. If you don’t have paint, spill some coffee, tea, or wine on your page. Allow it to dry. Once dry, observe the shapes that your spill created. Does anything stand out to you? Play with the shapes by outlining them, adding doodles to them, etc. Let your curiosity lead you. The photo below was a coffee spill that looked a lot like a butterfly to me!
Related Blog Posts
Month 2: Art Journal Prompt
This month we are going to create a multi layered journal spread that focuses on embracing imperfection. We will start with a simple scrape painted background. Next, we will challenge our perfectionist tendencies by drawing from memory with our eyes shut! Finally we will spend some time reflection on how perfectionism plays out in our creative practice.
For more fun prompts follow me on Instagram @creative_self_care where I post “Art-Breaks” prompts and journal prompts regularly. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter where you will receive tips, inspirations, updates, and special offers directly to your inbox! As a thank you for signing up I will be sending you a PDF list of my favorite art journaling supplies.
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”