Getting Serious about Creativity

I was reading this interview with Paula Scher on Psychology Today's website about the important role of failure in the creative design process. Here she explains her approach to recovering from failure:

There are two different ways this thing works. I did a TED talk about the difference between serious work and solemn work. I define serious work as being where you make breakthroughs, and solemn work as doing the status quo and the level may be very good but it's not breakthrough.

There's another factor—and I'm talking about this as a designer, but I imagine it would work in any form of the arts and to science. When you're working and you make mistakes, particularly when you're young, you make discoveries because you do things that are inappropriate and wrongheaded, but within the wrongheadedness you find an unexpected way to go. These things are truly the breakthroughs.

And here is the TED presentation she mentions above where she goes into greater detail about the cycle of going from solemness to seriousness:

12 days left in this series of posts focusing on creativity. Remember to enter to win a free autographed copy of "Karate Dottie" by commenting on this interview with author S.F. Varney.