Failure is Artistic

I've been asked to speak to high school groups this past year about being a working aritst. This is the story I've shared with them:

Failing out of design school.

The culture loves trumpeting the value of failure. Over happy hours and in self-help seminars, we all give lipservice to the value of failing. This is all fine and good, but in practice we're usually behaving in the exact opposite way: The culture and its institutions tend to be highly critical of failure, often punishing creative risk takers.

That kind of atmosphere leaves creative people confused and often totally failure-avoidant. Many even make it well into adulthood without ever experiencing massive failure. In this episode I share one of the most important lessons I learned from massively failing out of art school:

If we can be open to the idea, failure is profoundly artistic.

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  • Antje Warfe on


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