Making mistakes in artworks…art diaries, journals, sketchbooks…

It can be important in developing your arts practice that mistakes are normal and can in fact be quite positive!!

In trying to represent the idea we have in our mind and then representing that idea in our chosen media, we can have feelings that range from frustrating to ecstatic (when it actually works!). Many, many times things just do not go well for a variety of reasons and as frustrating or disappointing it may be ‘starting again’, backtracking a little or even discarding the whole idea is also part of the process of creating artworks.

The most important aspect of all of this is the process of learning and developing your arts practice – even if the work is discarded it is important to note ‘why’ and perhaps ‘how’ you’d do it differently – this is the most important aspect! I was told many times in art college – keep all your drawings so you can see the developments. This becomes impractical but I do actually still have ‘selected’ drawings from that time.

The development of art diaries, journals or sketchbooks are extremely important in developing your arts practice – it also gives insights into the thinking and working behind your works. It also gives you the opportunity to document mistakes, the learning and hopefully moving forward in ability.

It was said to me 10 years ago by an experienced and well known artist that “if you continue in your arts practice, you will look back in 10 years and you will be able to do so much more than you could back then and be able to see your development”. This is just so true! It is clearly illustrated by my HSC major works from 27 years ago…and my more recent initial new work in the field of pen and ink illustration.

Processing your mistakes can at times be even more important than producing the artwork…

Copyright – Lynette Weir

2 thoughts on “Making mistakes in artworks…art diaries, journals, sketchbooks…

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  1. thats actually interesting – to go back to your work and think “why” and “how.” i find that most artists, myself included, just want to discard whatever piece of work they absolutely hate so they can pretend it never existed.

  2. Art journals or sketchbooks are good in that it is harder to rip out pages or discard pages that often have more than one image – one could be ok another not…
    If we want to learn from mistakes then we need to ask why? and how? If we simply discard without doing this then it is harder to understand and improve. This was a point made by several of my art college tutors – a long time ago…
    It is just something I have been thinking about recently as I have been sorting through old work that I have kept but not looked at for a very long time…

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