Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Happy Accident

Earlier this week, I went to an all-day workshop designed to promote creativity in technology (and technology in creativity). I found the day thought-provoking and refreshing.

One of the more memorable speakers was an artist and comic book writer. He made a reference to Bob Ross (of "The Joy of Painting" fame) that particularly struck a cord with me. Bob Ross's "happy accidents" would happen whenever a a smudge happened or a drop of paint landed where he had not intended. That glob of paint did not deter Bob! He just called it a "happy accident" and integrated it into his painting. A grey blob became a rock that protruded from his original stream. A forested area became denser, more mysterious as he worked a navy blue spill into the scene.

The comic book artist provided Bob Ross's "happy accident" as an example in creativity. Creating is a process. The artist may have an idea of the direction he or she wants to go, but many factors contribute to the final outcome. Rigidity and creativity don't usually get along. Turns out, creativity is not the only process in life. Life is a process.

I am finding that whole "happy accident" idea a good way to perceive life. I definitely feel like I have had many splotches of paint thrown onto my canvas that I had not intended (I am not saying I don't think these life splotches weren't necessarily by design... they just aren't my original design). And I have been the type of person who plans and plans and plans and then rocks out according to my set plan. Now I have the opportunity to take these extra colors and either work them into the painting (my life) or cry about them and think that my painting is ruined.

Hmm. Choices, choices.

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