The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

How to Make Mistakes on Purpose was Successful

Posted by Matt Harbottle on December 3, 2008

When considering all aspects of graphic design, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts that go along with it.  There are tons of rules and guidelines that an artist should follow to create a successful, structured composition, that will please the viewer.  Apparently that isn’t always the case, according to Laurie Rosenwald.

Laurie is a successful artist, who’s areas of expertise include drawing, graphic design, and typography.  She is also a published author and has taught graphic design at School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, NYU, and Pratt Institute.  She tours the world, teaching a workshop called “How to Make Mistakes on Purpose.”

Rosenwald can be seen as an open-minded, “crazy” artist who is successful at what she does, with a no holds barred attitude, that stirs attention from all around the world.  Her philosophy being, “If you try very hard to create a good thing it will probably be bad.”  So on that note, she tries to promote that an artist should try to make mistakes… on purpose.  Not quite following?  Me either.

I’ve decided to give her crazy antics some consideration and attend her workshop that will be held in Banff, Alberta, on November 20-23.  I’m curious to see how she will lay out the processes of purposely making mistakes.  She emphasizes that anyone can attend and it’s not just for designers.  This is where it begins to worry me.

I hope to not waste a whole weekend of my life to listen to someone tell me how to get into my spiritual mindset and to let go of what I thought I knew about design.  Unfortunately for us skeptics, the outline of the workshop does not exist, for the content “MUST be a SURPRISE.”  Once again, getting worried, but I will still give it a try.

For anyone interested in attending the workshop, visit Laurie’s website for dates.





My apologies to Laurie.  Apparently the workshop in November was a complete success.  Unable to attend myself, I heard nothing but good things.  My previous post above, which I had originally posted in October, may have come off as detouring to some readers.  I really wish I could have attended, but due to school and work, this wasn’t possible.

The activities included in the workshop were as wacky and unusual as I had anticipated.  Unable to discuss what had all taken place at the workshop, my fellow artists from school that did attend, simple commented that, “it was weird.”  One could only imagine what really did take place that weekend.  Looking at this picture that was taken from the workshop… who knows?  





One Response to “How to Make Mistakes on Purpose was Successful”

  1. laurie said

    it was the funnest workshop ever. i know both designers and non-designers got a LOT out of it. i’ve had a fantastic response, and it was attended by a herd of elk. and i’m glad “crazy” was in quote marks


    laurie rosenwald

    now with anti-oxidants!

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