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Sometimes Mistakes End Up Looking Great

March 11, 2009

Growing up, I loved to draw and sketch. I like to think I was pretty good at it, but I just remember how it was so relaxing. When I would draw, I would get pulled into the picture, and all my thoughts would quiet down as I focused on perfecting a line or an angle or the shading.

I began wonder why I ever stopped. I really enjoyed it. I suppose in high school and college, things that would help build my resume began to take precedence. I recently decided to start drawing again. I excitedly bought some charcoal pencils and a kneaded eraser and got to work on a Brooklyn streetscape. While in the airport this weekend, I was working on my streetscape when an elderly gentleman was suddenly standing over me, watching me draw.  I looked up, startled, but he seemed harmless enough, so I smiled and said ‘Hi.’ He asked if I was an artist and I laughed and told him no, but to be nice asked if he had any pointers for me.

Turns out, he was rather established artist himself, and he had quite a few pointers for me. Pointers about lines and shading. Pointers about how to move from drawing with charcoal to painting with oils. In his thick, native, New York accent, he said one thing in particular that really touched me. He said, “Don’t worry about making mistakes. Sometimes mistakes end up looking great!” Of course, he was referring to mistakes in art, but I smiled at him while thinking that the quote had a much deeper meaning.

A perpetual worry-wart, I always fret about doing something wrong, making a mistake, getting off-track in my career and ruining my life. No more. I don’t even remember the nice man’s name, but I’m going to heed his lovely advice. From now on, I’m going to remind myself to not worry so much about making mistakes. Sometimes they end up looking great.

charcoal-pencils

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mia permalink
    March 11, 2009 11:55 pm

    I don’t know why but I just started thinking about all the people I know who were “accidents”. And how they are pretty much all wonderful people who I am so happy exist. Mistakes can indeed bring around amazing results. ❤

  2. Sam permalink
    March 12, 2009 1:39 am

    Great post Sarah. I am a great believer in being bold in life and the concept of not being afraid to make a mistake is such great motivation to really go big and chase after what you are passionate about – not to worry about what could have been or what might be.

    Also, I think you should post some of your work on your blog. Be bold!

  3. Alicia permalink
    March 12, 2009 9:33 am

    Awesome story Sarah! I want to see your drawing!

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