Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Failure: The Opportunity

I've been teaching at the University level for many years. One of my mantras has always been that failure, for an artist, can be a good thing. Creativity can't exist without a struggle. One can't break new ground if the ground doesn't present an obstacle. If we end up just where we thought we would well, then, what have we really learned?

I'm not the first to notice this. There have been countless artist before me who have recognized that artistic creation is not just the product of moving from point A to B. It's more like swimming through a fog. I know I'm on my way to SOMETHING. What that SOMETHING is still a bit obscure...distorted...fuzzy.

Lately, however, I've noticed that parenting magazine are commenting on this as well - recognizing that a child can't grow without facing challenges, and more importantly, overcoming their initial failure with independent persistence. So, we are encouraged to step back and let the little one fail. Right. Sure. No problem. This is what I've been saying to my students all along.

In truth. It's pretty hard.

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