"There are no second acts in American lives." ( F. Scott Fitzgerald )
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Let your mistakes be part of your style

By Tessa Ivascu | Section(s): GET... , | Add Your comment

THE SECOND ACT BYWORDS SECTIONMistakes are essential to self growth : they can increase your creativity and propel you forward. While you should avoid repeating mistakes, don’t be a perfectionist. Trying to avoid mistakes by all means freezes your imagination, cripples your will and dissolves your impulse to take risks and create opportunities. Here's what a famous non-conformist artist said about it :
The quote :
The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style.
Fred Astaire

My comment :
Don't wait to « be at the top » to learn that some "mistakes" are "happy accidents". You can't find your own creative flow without experimenting, without figuring and doing things in ways that others haven’t before.

My experience :
This quote reminds me of a teacher my daughter had in kindergarten. My daughter was 5 years old and loved to paint. Her paintings were inventive, bold, exuberant – what else ? Well, they were not « clean » enough for her teacher.
A paint stain or an unexpected choice of color were enough for this teacher to declare a painting « flawed » and to blame my daughter for her « errors ».

Fortunately, an important Juan Miró exhibition was running at the time here in Paris. I took my 5 year old daughter to see Miró’s paintings and I told her : « Look at all these stains, these doodles, these odd colors ! All these are errors. Every masterpiece contains at least one error. A painting becomes a work of art through a series of accidents. Only bad paintings are clean and flawless ».
JUAN MIRO UNTITLED Needless to say, my daughter hardly listened to my bookish message. But, Miró’s powers of persuasion being what they are, she never forgot his visual lesson on personal style. Five years later, she happily explores the art of painting, confident that an accident can have a good outcome.

What is your comment or experience in connection with this quote ?

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