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Mucking up!

Mucking up!

I was at the Warranwood Artshow recently

having a chat with a couple of lovely women.

I’d just done an artist floortalk(which is the posh name

for ‘have a chat about your art’).

So we were sitting on comfy chairs

surrounded by all these incredible works by hundreds of artists –

works that each started off as a blank piece of paper or canvas,

along with a vision.


And we were ruminating on what it is to be creative

and what it is to be an artist –

and on how important it is to make a space for self-expression.

Even when that means swiping everything off the dining table

for a few precious hours before dinner,

in order to be immersed in paint spattersand colour.


Our conversation turned to the picture book I’ve just crowdfunded.

(I love how NOW I can casually say that -‘the book I’ve just crowdfunded!’

as though the month it took was not painstakingly

and teeth-grittingly filled with moments of angst

in among the gratitude and humility!!)


So we were chatting about picture book Mac the Dog Man

and flicking through the mock-up copy on display

which, incidentally, is worth its weight in gold.

It’s a hard cover that cost almost as much as the down-payment on a house

and as is the way with drafts, it has hand-written scribbles, pictures,

words and pen markings on every page.


Both of my companions were kindergarten teachers

and as we were flicking through, Carmel exclaimed

“Now THAT’s just perfect!”

Curious, I followed her pointing finger

to the printed section where I’d scribbled out words

and hand-written different ones in.


“That! It’s perfect. You’re going to leave it like that?”

And as I looked inquiringly into her sparkling eyes

she clasped the book to her bosom, and said


Even very small children today

are worried about making mistakes.

How fantastic for them to see

that the process of creating a book

is one of ‘making mistakes’ and of changing them -

that ‘finished books’ come about through a process of mind changing.

And mistake making

And playing

And exploring

And scribbling out

And discovery

And happenstance

And adjustment…


And I had to agree.


How fabulous it is that nobody’s perfect

and how wonderful to be allowed to muck stuff up.


I don’t know that I’m quite ready to leave my scrawling additions

On the pages of this first print run -

But YES!

How wonderfully liberating it is.


I urge you to do something creative, and to muck stuff up.


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