Embracing The Fuck Ups


Have you ever had that moment when making art when you make a critical error and know you’ve REALLY fucked up the piece? It hits you like a huge clanger ‘DOINNG’….you messed it up you moron! You feel like hitting yourself over and over for making the mistake…how stupid…you messed that up good and proper…what an idiot…Your inner voice is nagging away at you calling yourself all the names under the sun.

I admit I am always doing it, in the past I would tear up my mistakes and start over again and be extra careful on the second remake but the remake would never feel the same, it would feel like a fake carbon copy, the energy put into recreating the copy would be forced because you are concentrating sooo hard not to make another mistake.


I say….embrace your fuck ups, admit your only human and mistakes WILL happen, instead of freaking out; ask yourself ‘sooo how do I fix this one’? Because once you have made your mistake you’ve done it! You cant ruin it anymore can you? Might as well pull out all the stops and see if you can make it workable again.

This happened to me recently, I was working on a ‘lettering art’ piece in my journal when I made a mistake with my wording, worse than that I made 2 huge mistakes! Cue ‘alarm bells’ clanging in my head and the inner critic having a field day calling me all the names under the sun, when I suddenly had an moment of clarity and thought….Fuck It! Its only a spelling mistake and a missed off word – nobody died and the world didnt end. I’ll live!

And so I pushed on working on the same piece, I’d started it so I was damn well gonna finish it and no way was I starting it again from scratch!

Here is my finished letter art journal page in its entirety, mistakes an all:

And here are the mistakes for all to see in glorious close up:

First of all I forgot to add the word ‘DON’T‘ onto the page, I said it out loud in my head as I was writing it but for some reason my hand didn’t do as it was told and I ended up NOT writing it!

So I decided to write the word don’t in over the top of the other word using a different colour to make it stand out and look kinda deliberate…..well it does if you close your eyes a little and squint 😛

My second mistake was the word ‘APPRECIATE‘, I originally spelt it APPRIATE….totally missing off the E and C in the spelling, such a silly mistake to make! But then I am queen of the spelling mistakes 🙂 I always write out the words or quote I am planning to use in my art before I do it because I have a brain fog moment half way through and forget how to spell. I did that with this piece and STILL I somehow managed to spell it wrong!

Soooo to fix this mistake I squeezed in a tiny E and C vertically between the letters R and I to make it look like I planned it all along when I didn’t at all! No sirreee.

We forget we are only human and never allow ourselves to make mistakes or live in fear of ‘getting it wrong’, we should learn to embrace these mistakes and learn from them and make them our own.


9 responses »

  1. I think it’s totally a case of faux “form follows function.” If you hadn’t have admitted it, I totally would have thought you intended the don’t that way. It calls attention to the negative in the right way. By making it smaller and a color oddball, you take away the strength of the negative. I love it.

  2. I don’t think this looks ‘fixed’ at all, it looks intentional and artistic. HOWEVER, I love that you are sharing it isn’t and the process. Helps to know that we are ALL human and do this stuff 🙂

  3. When I was in 3rd grade – my mom asked my teacher why I had 2 hours of homework every night – I didn’t but if I made a mistake anywhere on the page I tore it up and started over. Pretty extreme – I have learned to at least put aside my art “mistakes” and look at them later with non critical eyes. Love your journal page by the way – I think the “mistakes” enhance it!!

  4. I love how you made a mistake into a creative choice. I’m learning to embrace my mistakes also and turn them into “learning opportunities”. It’s liberating!

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