I saw Penelope creating this beautiful piece, so I stopped and asked her about it. She told me that she created the wash inside with her watercolors, and it flowed outside of the lines. She wanted a clean green box, so she was disappointed. It did not turn out the way she wanted. She set it side for a while, then when she got back to it she had an idea. She painted the leaves around the edge, which utilized in her mind what was her original ‘mistake’. I thought that was a brilliant way to turn what she didn’t like into a happy accident. Without that ‘mistake’ she would never have created such a beautiful work of art.
How many times do we have an idea in our head, and during the execution we botch it. What we create or complete does not look at all like what we imagined, so in our mind and thought process it went horribly wrong. We tend to give up as we think we have let ourselves down. So we put it away and forget it is there. We might become discouraged, frustrated or even question our ability to produce. We feel disappointed and may be hesitant to try again.
With time and distance we gain perspective. By walking away and doing, thinking, focusing on something else our brain is able to release the ‘failure’ and turn it around. Distance afford us the space to take was was a ‘botch’ job and turn it into a happy accident. Being a professional does not mean you never make any mistakes. Being a professional means you make mistakes and know how to fix them, use them, change them into something amazing. To do that you have to know the rules and how to break them, then how to bend them and adjust them into something different and special.
So what botch job are you sitting on that is waiting to become a happy accident? What project or item do you see and feel regret because it did not turn out the way you wanted? Give yourself time and distance, then have the courage to pick it back up. Give yourself another go at it, and be open to turning it into a happy accident. Many things have been created from a simple mistake. They key is being open to something new and different than the original idea. It takes courage to move from an idea that you do not think is good enough to expending more effort to turn it into a masterpiece. Give happy a chance, turn your accident into something amazing…thanks Penelope for reminding us that beauty can be found in all sorts of places.