Thursday, December 17, 2015

Making Mistakes

Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

I have not posted in a long while. Some of the reason is that I have been busy but the main reason is that at this time of the year from September to December I think about my life and what needs to change and what I need to stop doing.

So yes I took a bit of a break while I thought on these things.

2016 will be a very different year but I do feel I am stepping into something really good. The last 2 years have been really crazy. I have been trying to figure out where I fit and what God wants me to do and all I have been feeling is pushed from one corner to the other without making any head-way.

This year I spent most of my time on my art. I studied through Inflame Ministries through their Creative Arts Program. They have two streams, Songwriting and Painting. Although I have been a singer all my life, have written a few simple songs and play the guitar with a small amount of effort, I have also been very expressive with pencil and paper and had enjoyed watercolour paint. I decided after having painted a watercolour from a vision I had and having had a radical confirmation of this vision and painting that I might actually have something there that needs to be looked into and maybe developed.

One of the main things I have learned over the last year is about mistakes. I have learned that in my life I have learned more from making mistakes than from trying to be perfect and not make any mistakes.

I have always tried to impress and be liked through perfection and never ever making a mistake.
Mistakes are frowned upon in our culture. The consequences of making a mistake is usually met with guilt and shame rather than an opportunity to learn and experiment.

The other day I was driving and made a mistake and went over the speed limit by 7ks. Ordinarily when I realise I am going to fast I immediately slow down but this time it didn't help for as soon as I realised a Policeman had put his lights on and motioned for me to pull over. School Zone and that means zero tolerance.
I sat there as he went to go print out the ticket and I thought about my nice clean driving record which was now gone. I had so much pride in it and now after a mistake I had lost it. I now have to wait two years to get a fresh start. I cried because I realised the pressure I had put on myself never to make a mistake.
Having made this mistake and being disciplined for it made me more aware of my speed and where I am driving. I would not want anyone else to be driving over the speed limit near a school my children go to.

How does this translate to art? Well art is all about making mistakes. Art is not about being perfect from day one. It is about learning through mistakes.

The only way my art improved was when I embraced the mistakes and worked with them. Erasers are the worst thing for an artist to have lying around. I am trying to teach my art and craft kids to not care about erasing a mistake but to rather take that mistake and work it into their work.

And that is the way it is in life. God doesn't save us from making mistakes but He uses these mistakes to help us learn from them and to grow into more mature and disciplined people.

In order for my art to improve I had to practice everyday. Everyday I made mistakes and instead of letting those mistakes discourage me I used them to improve and grow my knowledge. Playing it safe didn't do my artwork any good. By not allowing myself to make mistakes and expecting a standard of art that I had not spent any time practicing left me art stuck. I was unsettled with the level my art was at and I had no clue how to improve it. Until this year where I was taught A) how to see and B) to not care about too much about what I put down on paper.

We get better at life and whatever we put our hands to when we take a risk and do it and love it no matter how it turns out.

If you feel this is you, That you have been living the safe life and been in fear of making a mistake, then I challenge you to step out and do something small and just out of your comfort zone and if you make a mistake, embrace it and take another step forward. Mistakes are great. Make them and live life to the full. Making a mistake does not make you a mistake.