It's okay to fail!
My students and I made a scarecrow for a local scarecrow contest. From October 25th to 31st during Halloween, the area around the local small center will be beautifully decorated. This scarecrow has many different appearances.
I made a scarecrow with the Statue of Liberty motif with my students. The materials used were mainly recycled materials to be environmentally friendly. For the scarecrow, I used Mosquito repellent bamboo sticks, a gold tablecloth for the clothes. The torch held by the Statue of Liberty was made using a container that contained Play Doh. Additionally, I laminated and attached pictures drawn by children around the clothes of the goddess statue. This became a small galley shaped like a scarecrow. As an artist, I love exhibiting community art forms that engage the community. Children can also contribute to the community through this.
This is my first time participating in a scarecrow contest. Having grown up mainly in the city, I don't really know how to make a scarecrow. But I made it by learning from the beginning, one step at a time. And there were many lessons in the process of installing and showing it to people. Above all, the scarecrow must be built to withstand rain and strong winds. I made numerous devices to prepare for such an event, but the power of nature was more powerful than I thought. In the end, when I visited today and checked briefly, my scarecrow had changed its position and every corner of it looked as if it had been at war. Of course, the scarecrow I applied for was not accepted in any award.
Although there may be differences in degree, everyone experiences failure and frustration in their lives. As an artist, I too have experienced countless failures. And this process is currently ongoing. But even though I know I will fail, I keep trying.
From a pedagogical perspective, the failures that a child inevitably experiences in the learning process are also said to have an impact on the continued challenge or development of academic performance. In the past, failure was only perceived as a negative thing. Therefore, it was thought that children who continuously experience failure learn helplessness, that no matter how hard they try, they cannot succeed. So parents tried to prevent their children from experiencing failure whenever possible.
However, in contrast, Clifford's 1988 'Constructive Failure Theory' argued that failure experiences do not always lead children to learn helplessness, but rather promote positive and constructive activities under certain conditions. The tendency to react to failure experiences in a constructive manner is called ‘Failure Tolerance’. It is good to give a helpless child who has experienced failure an experience of success, but what is more effective is to encourage them to experience positive failure and develop failure tolerance, which will lead to better results in the long run. That's why they say failure is a part of success.
I strongly agree with this part. Even if you look at your surroundings and receive easy rewards, you will not be able to easily run for long periods of time if you do not have strong inner motivation and passion.
Rather, I see students who have failed a lot grow by taking on more challenges. The same goes for artists. Artists who are strong on the inside and have the courage to not be swayed by any wind or temptation are people who have experienced many failures. I also intend to fail in this regard. Failure prevents arrogance in the heart. I am good at drawing. The pride of being the best gets in the way of pursuing true art.
Every time I do that, I am grateful for this precious failure. And I respect my students because they already have that attitude and enjoy failure itself. I learned a lot from this Scarecrow competition and will participate again next year with the same mindset.
Challenges give you experience, and it creates new opportunities.
As an artist, I always hear stories like this from people around me. “That’s so brave.” Above all, an artist must pioneer an invisible path and continue to create something on his own. If you're tired or afraid of creating new things like this, you can't be called an artist. In this respect, I believe that I am a natural born artist. I know that there is learning even in failure, and that you can't learn anything if you don't even fail. And this is my own way of survival as an artist.
Every time I fail, I also get frustrated. I teach drawing to my students, and my students also participate in competitions and take on new challenges. Here, there are big and small achievements, but there are also frustrations and failures. In the long run, failure is often more helpful than success in art. Failure makes me reflect on myself little by little, become humble, and focus more on the core things I like genuinely . The answer to the question, “Do I love the art of painting more than any reward or recognition?” is more evident when I fail than when I succeed. In this respect, failure is another form of success. So at some point, I don't care whether I succeed or fail as an artist. You won't be excited if something goes well, and you won't be sad if you fail. However, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to succeed as well as fail.
Myungja Anna Koh