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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


Blog 7:22:18 Copyright 2018 David Limrite Artist Teacher Coach Mentor Surviving Bad Art.jpg

Trying to resurrect two failed portraits. It’s not that I failed with them, but more that they came out too creepy even for me. So, I am trying to go back into them with reckless abandon, have more fun with them and lighten the mood surrounding them just a bit. 14”x 11”, acrylic, gesso and conte on wood. © 2018 David Limrite

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
James Joyce, Author

Surviving Bad Art

Let’s face facts. You are most certainly going to create some bad art from time to time. I do. However, you already know that I consider mistakes and failure as necessary and as opportunities.

You are going to make some bad art and you are going to be upset about it at the time. What’s in your control is what you do next.

Usually when I create something terrible, it’s because I am taking risks, pushing my materials beyond their limits, trying something new or attempting to take my work to the next level, whatever that is at the time.

To create is to risk.

To be a creator is to be a risk taker.

We all must risk failure to invite meaningful growth. Which is so much better than fear or self-doubt for sure. We have to go for it!

Approach failure as a learning opportunity. What worked? What didn’t? What went wrong? What to try next? 

Try not to be defeated. Instead, be energized. Making bad paintings does not mean that you are a terrible artist. It just reaffirms that you are an artist. Creating a bad painting means that you are one step closer to success.

Every time you go into the studio and stand in front of your easel, you get a fresh start. Regardless of what happened the day before.

The most important things you can do are keep at it, make the process fun (even if it is not going well), and take bigger and bigger risks. BTW, focusing on process makes risk taking easier.

A failed painting just means that you have more work to do. 






San Luis Obispo Museum Of Art

1010 Broad Street San Luis Obispo CA 93401  |  (805) 543-8562 

October 5 - December 2, 2018

I will be an artist-in-residence at the museum for the entire two month run of the show creating 10 new paintings from start to finish. Come watch me work, ask questions and follow my progress. Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

David LimriteComment