Purposeful Mistakes

May 14, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

This post at The Visual Exegesis was entertaining, but it's the video embedded half way down that really stuck with me.1 I wouldn't consider myself a comic book fan. I like them well enough and I have my own personal preferences, but I am no Andy Ihnatko. That also means I don't really know anything about Neal Adams who is the artist in the video.

Here's the video:

I watch that video and I see someone making hundreds of directed mistakes. He has many false starts and ideas flow out onto the page while he works through his process. He doesn't seem to filter out his ideas, but rather builds upon each one and abandons what he doesn't like. Part way through he obliterates almost the entire work except for the skeleton left by all of those mistakes. His art is made from continuing to move forward beyond the individual faults and failures. His art is a product of many mistakes he makes on purpose in pursuit of the greater perfection.2


  1. Sorry, I don't remember where I first heard about this. I have some strange sources in my RSS feeds. 

  2. I'm not a philosopher, this is just something I thought was "magical". I know it made me pause and think about how I make things. Before anyone comments, I also know a purposeful-mistake is an oxymoron. Some people take all the fun out of the internet. This footnote is for you. Dicks. 

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