Wait, that sounds awful. It sounds like this has been a terrible week. And it absolutely hasn't. I'm talking about the good kind of failure.
|the bad kind of failure (because it breaks my kiln)|
|learning to throw|
"When I was growing up, [my father] encouraged us to fail. We'd come home from school and at dinner he'd say: 'What did you fail at today?' And if there was nothing, he'd be disappointed. It was a really interesting kind of reverse psychology. I would come home and say that I tried out for something and I was just horrible and he high-fived me."My mother-in-law must have read more than just this article because, as she explained it to me, Blakely talked about her father working with her on each failure to improve for the next attempt. The idea here isn't that she should be bad at stuff, but that she should try stuff she isn't (yet) good at. She needs to be willing to take the risk and then, later, willing to look for ways to improve so she can try again.
TED Radio Hour via an NPR app. The interview with Sir Ken Robinson sounded interesting because it had to do with teaching creativity, or, more accurately squashing creativity in school. I started listening to hear what he had to say about encouraging creativity in school. (Another recurring class issue for another day: why do students always tell me they "just aren't creative"?)
interview on NPR included segments of Robinson's TED talk. Around the start of the second minute he tells a story about a girl drawing in class. He explains that kids aren't frightened to be wrong and then identifies the value of taking these sorts of risks: "If you are not prepared to be wrong" he says, "you will never come up with anything original."
|the beginning of something original?|
|yuck, my mistakes|
|I learned about the underglazes after making these mistakes|
|centering the clay is the most difficult part of the process|
|centering the clay|
|yea for failure!|
*After writing about failure this weekend, I showed a DVD to my Art Appreciation class on Monday morning and realized that even it (a film I show every quarter) illustrates the value of failure for an artist. Rivers and Tides documents Andy Goldsworthy building his temporal sculptural installations in various natural locations. The segment from about minute 18 to 26 shows Goldsworthy building one of his seed forms out of stone. We watch him build it over and over again each time it collapses, while the artist talks about how, each time, he understanding the material a little better.
(sorry if the video goes bad, I can't believe the whole thing is available on YouTube right now)