At uni, one of the classes I had to undertake was life drawing. This terrified me for two reasons- one being that I had had never used charcoals before and the other being that I wasn't familiar with drawing the human form, let alone a naked one. I was quite scared to put charcoal to paper in case I'd look ridiculous and my work would be terrible, but my teacher put my mind at ease. He always said that the mistakes made on paper were beautiful- they showed growth and gave character to an artwork.
A mistake is the most beautiful thing in the world, man. It is the only way you can get to some place you never been before. I try to make as many as I can. Making a mistake is the only way that you can grow. E.W. Waignwright, Jazz Drummer
In my teaching profession, we rely heavily on feedback. It's such an important tool in helping us to improve on our teaching practice and find out what we need to focus on. We have yearly reviews, surveys and multiple pages of data to sort through. The data drives me crazy, but it's invaluable when it comes to graphing how my VCE students went in their exams, and teaching explicitly to the areas they need to focus on more.
In art lessons, especially Year 11 and 12, a key part of learning is to keep everything you've created, even the mistakes. Annotate them, learn from them and develop something even bigger and better. Acknowledge the mistakes. No one is perfect, and people understand when we need to rework what we create. Those who take pleasure in simply seeing us fail and have nothing to offer are not worth or time or energy.
I'll say it again. We're not perfect. It's OK to fail! There will be times where we make mistakes, stuff up and we need to rely on feedback from others to help guide us in a new direction. Constructive criticism is invaluable, and it's nice to validate readers who take the time to offer it. There's no point in indulging outright negativity and giving it attention, you don't want to give your precious time and energy to those who will suck you dry emotionally! I personally feel like it's good bloggy karma to give attention and value to those who take the time to offer advice in a positive fashion.
After ProBlogger I realised that in order to treat my blog seriously and give it the respect it deserves, I needed to adopt the same practice to it as I do my teaching career. My blog is my second job, my life and my home. I needed to start seeking feedback from those who are most valuable to me- my readers- and start tweaking my blog accordingly to reflect the needs and wants of who reads this- while still keeping my voice and personality.
So, here's where I need your help! I have a super short survey about Hummingbird's Song for my readers to complete, and I would be super grateful if you answered it for me. As an added incentive, all those who complete the survey have a chance to win a 5 x 7in print of a Woodland Creatures painting of mine of their choice. And, I'll throw in a block of chocolate too. Win win! x
You can answer 9 teeny tiny questions here! Thank you!
So, it's Ok to make mistakes. It's more than OK. It's OK to have differing opinions and tastes and styles. That's what makes life interesting, isn't it? It's important to use the mistakes to seek feedback and create something even more amazing. Even more important though is to play nice- if you're the one giving the feedback use the sandwich method and coat your constructive criticism with a positive first. After all, as the old saying goes- you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Embrace the mistakes guys. Go out and take risks- don't be afraid to fail!