But I Wanted A Horse


It’s often said that

there are no mistakes

in art.


But it’s not really true.


If a student wants

to draw say…

a horse

but their horse

ends up

looking like

a sea otter,

even if that sea otter drawing

looks really great,

that student

has every right to feel



or even unsuccessful.


Yes, it is true

at times,

a student may be

happy or even excited

about their

unintended discovery

of accidently figuring out

how to draw a sea otter.


But sometimes they are not

and that’s okay.


Let’s not dismiss

or belittle the child’s


by telling them,

in perhaps a weak attempt

to maintain their confidence

or self-esteem

(or worse, to keep the project moving),

“There are no mistakes in art.”


Acknowledge the mistake.

Acknowledge their disappointment.


It’s a sign that

they can be critical.

That they

have expectations.

That they have goals.

That they are pursuing

an interest.


Yes, let’s acknowledge

the mistake made in art.

And then take the time

to help them

to figure out

how they can draw

a horse.


In the long run,

it’s probably

better for everyone




Trevor (@trevorabryan)

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