Last week, my efforts in the art department ran the creative gamut. On the upside, I figured out a few things in my graphics program that have been mystifying me (like how to apply layer masks), and I was inspired by some visual journaling done in watercolor that I came across in Art Journaling. On the downside, I have tried a particular watercolor piece three times now and cannot get it to my liking. And my first attempts at combining watercolor with visual journaling were a complete and utter flop.
As I went back to “the books” and studied these particular techniques more, it occurred to me that magazines, etc. only ever present the finished product. Granted, we wouldn’t consider paying for a magazine full of flops, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see or read about an artist’s failed attempts along the way? I wonder how many attempts it took before they felt confident with the technique and satisfied with their work?
Is there beauty to be found in imperfection? When something doesn’t turn out right, what do we do? Do we throw it away or put it out of sight? Move on to something else? (That’s usually what I do.) Or do we hang on to it, learn from it and maybe even look for opportunities to reuse parts of it? I think this question applies to anything we do but especially that which we do in a creative vein (think failed dinners, etc.)
The image below represents both good and failed efforts for me. It’s an example of where I learned to apply a mask (see how the brick background is only around the outside of the square? and how the edges are blurred and rounded?) It’s also full of . . . um . . . things I want to learn from (like not running the vine through the flower petals). It’s not perfect, but it’s part of the process, and in my book, that makes it worthwhile.