Discover more from Unpsychology Voices
on the making of mistakes
“Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.” Salvador Dali
We've just rereleased Unpsychology Imaginings 9.1 because the first launch version missed out a spread. Yes, an entire spread. We didn't mean to omit a spread, but it happened. Like a crack in the china, a scratch in the vinyl... like a fly in the ointment, a fox in the henhouse... we published a mistake.
Now, with a new gold seam knitting it together beautifully, we offer this amended version to all our readers and subscribers. Not only does it contain the missing content, but the page numbering created an additional blank space with which to play. And play she did: our graphic design editor Lesley Maclean created this exquisite image to fill the space:
Whenever I do graphic design and no matter how hard I try to get everything in place, there’s always something I’ve missed, some result that’s unexpected – a mistake. Just one if I’m lucky but who knows how many are out there lurking in the shadows? Of course that’s undoubtedly true of everything I do: pay attention in one way, and things will get missed in other directions, on other layers. Later on, In new settings, these neglected moments shine like beacons.
When I’m not lost at play with the free-flowing nameless wonder, I’m afraid of making mistakes. When I was younger and had just completed my graphic design training, I had a really stressful experience doing one of my first “professional” design jobs that was a magnet for mistakes, mine and others. It set a discouraging tone that still reverberates. And worse than that, mistakes I make bump into others’ lives and can hurt. In the chaos of working on the layout for this issue of Unpsychology, I left out a large part of someone’s poem, a beautiful, lovingly woven nest of images and words. I’m embarrassed that I hadn’t noticed that before.
Despite all this, I have to say that I’ve also come to love mistakes. They, like their imperfection cousins, are creatures that refuse to align to straight ruler of how-things-should-be. The more time I spend with them, the more friendly and woolly they seem to get, inviting me into new creative territory, blending their shapes with how-things-are. In space that opened up to repair this particular graphic design mistake – my house empty of others and the sun streaming in after weeks of grey and rain – I cleared the error-spotting tool in my software that had been overwhelming me with its constant stream of (mostly) unnecessary warnings. In doing so, I discovered other mistakes I could repair, quite a few actually, and received an unexpected gift in the process: two new empty pages for me to play with however I wanted.
Unpsychology is a labour of love, curated by an editorial team with many other responsibilities and activities happening in our lives, and it's just inevitable that we will miss things. If we tended rigorously to iron out all the potential mistakes and inconsistencies, we would betray the philosophy of the magazine – which is to explore, to reflect, to play and to enjoy.
So we offer this amended version of Imaginings 9.1 to you with that in mind. We love mistakes because they remind us that we are all perfect in our imperfections.
If you have downloaded a previous version of the magazine, you can now download the updated, amended version of Unpsychology Imaginings 9.1 from HERE - and consider supporting Unpsychology’s exciting, but imperfect work by subscribing to this Substack.
Unpsychology Voices is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.