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Book cover: The Art of Mistakes

The Art of Mistakes: Melanie Rothschild

"Art is there to remind us that we can think for ourselves."Melanie Rothschild

Melanie Rothschild is a self-taught artist and a native of Los Angeles. 

For over two decades her functional pieces have been sold in galleries and stores across the U.S.

In 2007, she began the Paint and Air series, which heralded a major shift in her work.

The Paint & Air series was born from a mistake.  A gallon of spilled paint seemed too messy to clean until it had dried.  Days later when it was ready to be chipped off the ground bit by bit, it came up in one glorious piece. Spilling paint became the craft . . . . an entirely new starting point. This then, becomes a painting in the most basic sense . . . . . all paint, no canvas, just paint and the air that has transformed it from liquid to solid.

This "mistake" fed what was already a deep interest in the nature of the creative process and resulted in Melanie pursuing a graduate degree in the study of creativity. One of the results was the video documentary, MISTAKE.

The way we think about mistakes can play a pivotal role in how we experience life. We miss out on so much potential when we obsess about mistakes in all things. Understanding which things require perfection and when the freedom from worrying about mistakes can greatly enhance our lives is critical. In her 2011 documentary MISTAKE, Melanie presents interviews with people from many different perspectives: a rocket scientist, a musician, a screenwriter, a teacher, a comedian, and a rabbi among several others.

Her first book, The Art of Mistakes: Unexpected Painting Techniques and the Practice of Creative Thinking published by North Light Books was released November, 2014

Melanie has a master's degree in the Study of Creativity from Buffalo State College and a bachelor's in Ethnic Arts, with an emphasis in anthropology from UCLA. Find out more about Melanie at 



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Center for Applied Imagination

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