Art comes naturally to my daughter. She is quite talented and yet she is perfectionist. I wonder where she gets that from? Anyway, she was working on a project for her art class recently and it was pushing and stretching her a bit. I could see it in her defeated facial expressions and feel it emanating from her less than joy-filled body language. She was getting frustrated that she needed to keep making adjustments~erasing and editing to continue moving in image in the direction she desired. I assured her that this was “normal” and that she just needed to stick with it and embrace the process.
But then it struck me…in many ways our kids are being conditioned to expect perfection and immediate results. Through this convoluted lens and microwave mentality, they don’t always see the mistakes and blunders, hiccups and bruises that inevitably accompany ANY learning process. Instead, they see the HIGHLIGHT “REAL”.
It’s sort of preposterous when you really think about it. The idea that “out of the gates” the strokes or moves or decisions of anyone (let alone a child) should be “spot on” perfect is totally and UNEQUIVOCALLY flawed. I’d even consider it dangerous; yet, it’s so perpetuated in our culture nowadays. Don’t you think so?
Instead of being wary of mistakes~which makes us overly cautious and closed off, we should work towards embracing them and letting our creative nature and intuition unfold. Tapping into our authentic selves and our natural gifts instead of impression managing each and every experience. That means being vulnerable~understanding that we will likely not “get it right” the first time, or the second or even the third, but within this experience of “failing forward” greater learning can be cultivated.
When I recognized this was happening with my girl I had to stop it in its tracks. We talked about it and I assured her that NO ARTIST ever created a work/project/design without easer marks~like EVER. That’s what art is actually all about, isn’t it? The PROCESS, the development, the evolution? Kind of like life. There will ALWAYS be eraser marks and “do overs” and I think that’s a good thing! It means you’re trying, you’re adjusting, you’re shifting and mostly YOU ARE GROWING.
Let’s remind ourselves of this and our kids too~mistakes are natural and they are a critical part of learning! There will never be a masterpiece without these elements. So…. cheers to a path full of mistakes and opportunities to grow!! After all, we are all rough drafts of the people we are becoming, aren’t we?
With Big Much Love,