Over the years, I have learned a lot about the creative process. First, it’s a journey and along the way, there are stumbles, falls, surprises, successes, and failures. Stopping midway through the creative journey leads to missed opportunities.
Recently, I was working on a design team project for the Hedgehog Hollow and I got stuck on a card design. I couldn’t figure out how to create a project using the products I was given. I spent about two hours making cards, trying different techniques, testing products, only to throw way about a third of what I was making.
Then it happened…I made a card that was actually pretty decent! It took several tries, a bit of frustration, a tiny bit of creative doubt, and a whole lot of trial and error. But I did it. Hooray!
Roughly seven cards later, this was the finished product (see above). Had I not worked through the process of trial and error, trusted the creative journey, I would not have gotten to this point.
Below are photos of some of my past projects that took a while to complete. Through trial and error, I was able to work through the creative process to produce a finished product.
Why Does this Matter?
The expectation that we should be able to go from point A to point Z of the creative process can be a bit self-defeating! We compare ourselves to artists who’s projects appear to come together so easily, as if their creative process is flawless and magical.
(Spoiler alert – it’s not!)
What we sometimes do not see is the trash can filled with projects gone awry. What we don’t see are the multiple attempts at trying something new or working through a creative block. We ALL go through this…even the most seasoned scrapbooker has been stuck a time or two (or more)!
The urge to give up is strong. Self-doubt creeps in and we say to ourselves, “I just can’t do this.”
But friend…we can.
The journey from point A to Z is where the good stuff is! The creative process gives us room to experiment, find out what works and what doesn’t. We make adjustments and try again. We get frustrated and walk away. And then we come back and experiment some more. We work through the learning curves, and with each step, we add more information and skills to our knowledge base.
At the end of the journey, we often walk away victorious, or if we do fail, we can celebrate the fact that we are much more informed at the end of the process than we were at the beginning.
THIS is why trial and error matters.
The next time you are working through a tough creative challenge, remember that the process is just as important as the outcome. It is through the creative process that we learn, grow, and develop our skills. If you don’t know how to do something, find a resource and get crackin’!
Don’t be afraid of the journey. Embrace trial and error…you’ll be glad that you did.
6 thoughts on “Trial and Error – Why the Journey is Important!”
As a type A personality AND a major control freak .. trial and error is hard for me. Now in my 50’s though I can look back and recognize it’s part of the process. Without it I wouldn’t have accidentally learned something about a technique or about myself. I tend to forget that every now and then in my rush towards perfection. Thanks for the reminder.
Exactly! I think we neglect the process when we should slow down and embrace it!
Best blog post i have read in awhile, an honest dose of reality!! A fantastic reminder I love all my creative youtubers, but it does form a bit of a false sense of perfection, in an unrealistic time frame, even though we know its all chopped up and speed up. Thanks Victoria
Thank you so much! I am glad that this topic resonated with you! And you are so right…designers make the process look so easy. Honestly, we all have creative struggles. But we must press on!
Thank you for showing your trash can. Your post came to me at the right time. Was struggling making a feel better soon card. Lots of ideas but nothing came together. I walked away and came back the next day and now have a card I am happy with. Looking forward to seeing more of your creativity!
Yay! I am so happy to hear that! Sometimes you just have to walk away and come back to it. The ideas needed time to come to the surface!