Better an Oops than a What If

better an oops than a what if

A chalkboard frame hangs on the TinkerLab studio wall that says “Better an oops than a what if,” a message that’s been our mantra for the last few months.

My hope is that when kids and their families come into the space, they’ll recognize that it’s a safe place to experiment, try new things, and play.

Sometimes we hold our best ideas back because we’re afraid to take a scary leap. Here are some “what ifs” that come up for a lot of us:

“What if the painting looks nothing like my idea?”

“What if my story is too weird?”

“What if people can’t tell what I was trying to make? What if it looks terrible?”

better an oops than a what if

When making art or creating, it’s important to encourage our kids (and even ourselves) to be open to mistakes because really, without that willingness nothing wonderful would happen.

John Maxwell, author of Failing Forward, (Amazon affiliate) said

The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.

It’s through practice, trial and error, and ongoing learning that our best ideas have a chance to emerge.

I shared this image on the TinkerLab Instagram wall, and you can follow the conversation over here.


  1. I love quotes and I love how this looks on the black paper framed. This is a definite activity. Everyone can have a positive quote their going to use while we’re on lockdown:)

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