Making the most of mistakes

Yup, Zentangle goddess that I am, I screwed up.

I decided to combine this week’s Diva’s challenge with the Zentangles with a Twist ATC challenge, as they complemented each other. The ATC challenge: draw a string with a figure 8 and a bow. Diva’s guest challenge: draw a curved string and use just straight-line tangles or vice versa. This is the string I started with:

I tangled and tangled and everything was going great when I decided to try a new tangle. I didn’t deconstruct it as intended and messed up the design. My first thought: “Crud. This ruins it. I should start over.” I didn’t want to start over, not with all the effort I’d put into it. What do I do?

I hear this frustration from my students. I still feel this, so I understand the doubt. We are all perfectionists on some level. What separates us from failure is the ability to create out of that. With the limitations of this challenge, I looked and shifted my focus from freeform creation to problem-solving. I didn’t notice these big beautiful open spaces before, so I chose to fill those with other straight-line tangles. They masked the self-perceived mistakes. It didn’t work completely as expected, so I used a different pattern in other open spaces. Here’s the result:

Do you see the mistake(s)? I know the area that I fussed with, but I no longer see it as incorrect. It’s all in our perception, in choosing our approach. It’s the persnickety side of me that refused to give up.  Here’s to you having a positive weekend, making the most of what may not seem at first ideal.  Even if you aren’t persnickety, it’s a cool word to say.

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