What do you do when you make a mistake? What if your whole final result looks like a mistake?

You could just get rid of it, throw it out of your sight and your life.

But you might be missing an opportunity. To experiment. To learn. To create something better out of something flawed and disappointing.

I didn’t like this collage I made. At. All.

Everything in it just seemed to compete. There was no focal point, no effective contrast or flowing pattern. It just looked bleh to me.

I wanted to throw it out.

But I decided to fool around with it, take it apart, find other ways to use the parts–maybe in a different way with different elements.

The glue wasn’t stuck so badly that I couldn’t remove the red, clashing segments. With that clashing gone, I was able to mess around with what was left, and create a better composition. And harmony.

Notice how your eye follows the lines up to the daffodils in the “near” corner. Better composition. I felt a lot better with that. And now the pallet consists of greens and yellows and beiges, and neutral black (and a little white) give the contrast. Much more serene.

Now what about the red pattern? I thought it would look much better on a background echoing some of the blues veined through it.

I found some in my junk mail stash. I especially liked the misty quality one page had when coupled with the red. But I didn’t have enough red to make a complete collage.

I was sure I had more of it somewhere. I remembered it was from a full-page ad for Turning Leaf wine, and was sure I’d kept what I hadn’t used.

Sure enough, there it was, in one of my file folders.

I kind of got carried away cutting out whimsical trees. But I like what I ended up with.

And that’s the important thing with collage. And with a lot of other things in life.

What do you do with your mistakes? Do you ever use them to produce something better?


Previous posts in this series:

Day 1 Mini Collage and 31-Days Introduction

Day 2 Collage: Nothing-But-Junk Fish

Day 3 Collage: What Grabs Your Heart?

Day 4 Collage: Why I Chose to do this 31 Days–Really

Day 5 Collages: On Being Transparent

Day 6 Collage: Salute to Birds and Dragonflies

Day 7 Collage: Got it Made in the Shade

Collage Day 8: Three Good Children’s Books to Inform Our Lives

Day 9 Collage: Smiles, Smiles (What Makes You Smile?)

Day 10 Collage: Which Way is Out?

Day 11 Collage: Rugged Rocks or Rugs?

Day 12 (non-junk-mail)  Collage: “Be Like the Bird…”

Lovelights and Blues (Day 13 Collage)

Day 14 Collage: “Fleur de Free” (Extended Cut Shape Technique)

Day 15 Collage: The Beauty of Serenity

Day 16: Two Collages, Just for the Enjoyment

Day 17 Collage Talk: “Only Words”

Day 18 Collage: Broken Hearts Can Soar

Day 19 Collage: Collage as Therapy? (Plus Cut-and-Fold-Back Technique)

Day 20 Collage: A Beautiful Ride

Day 21 Collage: Birds in Lush Growth

Day 22 Collage: Hope

Day 23 Collage: Start Something New Before Finishing the Now

Collage Day 24: Eight Women and an Unseen Guest

Collage Day 25: Sailing Through 31 Days (Or Any Other Commitment)