Creative Behaviors Blog Series – Post Five

Supporting Your Creative Student

Consider failure a normal part of the creative process

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia

Creative people are willing to take risks. They may not be jumping out of airplanes, but creative people are willing to risk failure. In fact, most creative people would say that failure is a normal part of the creative process.

Most people don’t usually enjoy failure. It’s frustrating and disappointing. In order to avoid this discomfort, many people will play it safe, but that’s not creative. In your quest to be more creative, how can you become better at failing? Practice.

As a parent, it’s hard to watch your student struggle and make mistakes. Our instincts tell us to jump in and help, give students direction, stop them before they mess up. But students who run into problems will learn to solve those problems. And the kids who are rescued from failure all the time? They don’t learn to solve problems…because they never have any.

Sometimes creative ideas seem great in the beginning, but they just don’t work out. Instead of viewing failures as wasted time, students can be encouraged to see failures as an opportunity to learn and improve. Prolific inventor Thomas Edison viewed it this way: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”


Claudia Bear is a Da Vinci parent, with daughters attending Da Vinci Design and the Innovation Academy. She has a background in both science and the visual arts. In addition to practicing optometry, Claudia is a department manager with Kaiser Permanente, where she manages projects, develops leadership training for managers, and serves on the medical center’s Innovation Design Team.