Shit happens

So during the recent Inktober challenge I screwed up. Some times I messed up a drawing so bad while I was making it, that I had to just start again. That’s fine, its part of the process and happens most of the time as an artist. It’s harder with inks on paper as they are indelible and so once its on, its on. With paint, if you don’t like something or you splodge it - you can paint over it. If you put a mark on a page with ink, its very hard and sometimes impossible to cover up. 

I messed several pieces up and had to start again. It made the evenings very long and sometimes I wouldn’t get to bed until 1 (only to be woken a couple of hours later to feed the baby or change him and at one point during the chicken pox, even bath him) so most of October I was really shattered and this obviously made it more likely I was going to screw up a drawing and so it went on like that. There were also a couple of pieces that I finished and then decided I didn’t like much and so I did a whole other drawing and interpretation. So two drawings in a night sometimes. Ridiculous. 

Screwing up when the work isn’t finished is pretty crap and frustrating but its ok because no one has seen it yet. You are free to change it or start again with no comparisons or pressure. However screwing up when you’ve not only finished a piece, but have sold that piece really takes the biscuit. The piece in question was ‘Swift’, day 1 of Inktober but done as the last piece retrospectively. It had been snapped up as it dropped at 12.30 by a very happy collector. 

Packaging several pieces ready to send out, I accidentally used what I thought was a spare blank sheet of paper, to dispense some ink for signing the reverse of a piece. As it turned out, it was not spare or blank and was in fact, the reverse of ‘swift’. The ink was so wet and abundant that it had bled through the paper to the front of the piece. There was for sure, absolutely no way of removing or concealing or cropping this out. The piece was ruined.


I actually had a little cry about it when I realised my utter stupidity. I would have to do the drawing again and It needed to be as close to the ruined version as possible as this is what the collector had purchased.  I sucked it up and got on with making a new version and was really pleased with it, even more so than the original one I think! I always find in art as well as life, honesty is the best policy, so I came clean with the collector who was wonderfully understanding and did not mind at all, especially when she saw that there was very little difference between the two drawings. 


I have, in the past, accidentally ripped a hole in a canvas that was complete. I felt sick. All that time and effort and paint wasted. I couldn’t sell it now and couldn’t repair it either. There have been ink splodges and paint splodges in various works, some I have managed to conceal or remove, others not and I’ve started again. But always always it makes you feel sick and so cross with yourself. But it happens in every job in every part of the world. You do something stupid or ruin something you’ve spent ages on. Shit happens. Feel sick, get cross, make a promise you will NEVER again be that stupid and move on. Because we always stick to those promises, right?