“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” –Scott Adams
You know that slap-a-hand-on-your-forehead moment when you realize you called someone the wrong name or you forgot about a meeting? While mistakes are often blows to the ego, they can also be beautiful learning lessons. For artists, mistakes can offer a lot of beauty as well.
At MAD in New York, I stumbled upon a sculpture that resonated with all the past mistakes I’ve ever made. Self-Portrait of the Artist Losing His Marbles by Robert Arneson was the result of a bust being overheated in the kiln. When the sculpture split, Robert Arneson decided to glue marbles into the crack rather than throw away the entire sculpture. The end result was an ode to beautiful mistakes.
Self-Portrait of the Artist Losing His Marbles by Robert Arneson. Photo: madmuseum.org
And just in time for the fourth of July, let’s chat about Normal Rockwell. Norman Rockwell was a prolific American artist who created iconic paintings of Americans in their daily lives. Cracked.com listed Rockwell’s People Reading Stock Exchangeas number 6 on the top 7 famous art mistakes.
People Reading Stock Exchange by Norman Rockwell
Can you see the mistake? I’ll give you a hint. It’s on the man in the red shirt. Do you notice the third leg?
Norman Rockwell acknowledged his oopsy daisy by stating he “…sort of put three legs on the boy.”
In honor of great art mistakes and American Independence (i.e. Christopher Columbus accidentally landing on North America), take a moment to apologize to those you’ve offended and forgive yourself for any accidental mistakes.