Turn Mistakes Into Something Wonderful (and a Giveaway!)

Eiffel Tower Acrylic Painting (photo courtesy of jay jay jolly)

Eiffel Tower Painting in acrylic by a 7 yr old artist

“Oh no, I have blobs of black paint on the sky!” Previously, I would have been frustrated by my student’s lack of focus. I would have reprimanded her carelessness and utter many words of do’s and don’ts. I would have thought of ways to remove or cover the black blob, perhaps asking her to repaint a portion of that sunset sky…

That was my old “trying to be firm with my students” self. I think I have taken the advice of “be firm!” a little too seriously. And as an artist, we can become a bit too firm on ourselves and on our art. We worry too much about our works not looking nice or about making mistakes on that precious canvas before we even attempt anything. That kind of fixed mindset can stifle our creativity. Can you relate?

“Hey, don’t worry. Turn your mistake into something wonderful!” I encouraged my student excitedly. But her answer startled me. “What do you mean wonderful?” Obviously she was wondering how can a mistake be made wonderful. But I pressed on and asked her to look at the blob and how she can turn it into something else. Perhaps a bird? A stone? And before I can even finish, she excitedly painted birds on the sky. She told me how she has never thought of that before. She repeated the words: “Turn mistakes into something wonderful.” What a freeing statement!

I was so inspired that day after class. My student felt empowered. I am all the more determined to help students change their fixed mindsets to that of a growth mindset. I want to encourage them to work hard and take ownership of their art. I want them to see how they can improve as they keep going with the learning and discovery. Yes, I am on a mission to nourish the creativity and imagination of the little ones. And yes, I am writing all these to remind myself too, because well… don’t we all need a gentle reminder?

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To celebrate my second online class, Sketch Your Life 2, I would like to host a simple giveaway! Follow the instructions below and share this blogpost with those whom you think will benefit from the class. Deadline for entries will be on October 8, 2016. Five winners will be randomly selected to win a free spot on Sketch Your Life 2. Come join now! :)

Wonderful class full of great watercolor and sketch booking tips. Thanks so much for offering this second class, Elisa. You are an inspiration! – Jo C.

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