What the hell is Beautiful Mistakes?

Originally, was a high school project designed as a way for me to learn how to code in HTML. To put that in perspective, it was created back when HTML was a mysterious, obfuscated programming language; when most pages on the internet consisted of tiled backgrounds; bold, italic yellow scrolling text and un-mutable .midi versions of barely recognizable pop music played on loop when the page loaded. This was back when you still said, “The page’s address is; H, T, T, P, Colon, Backslash, Backslash, W, W, W, Dot, WHATEVERTHEHELL, Dot, COM.”

The first version of the site was just a place for me to put up my (arguably pathetic) artwork; scans from my “Intro to Art” sketchbook and a few blurry pictures from family vacations. Riddled with spelling errors (actually, that part hasn’t changed); I think it limped in with a ‘B-’. Anyway, a brilliant idea struck me, “this doesn’t have to be a page just for my crappy work – I can put my more-talented friends’ stuff up here too!” Again, recall this was before everyone and their mother could upload their cell phone pictures to 18 different places at the push of a button.

So, Susie Barnes, Brent Box, Matt Deckard, François Escoriheula, Morgan Finley, Chris Jacobsen, and Jim Vaughn deigned to offer me their productivity and the site became something else. After high school, Mike Clark, Jesse Dowell, Chris Hamm and my brother, Dan Rowe, blessed the page with their collaboration as well. To me, it was the most brilliant thing I had ever been lucky enough to be a part of.

Then I got a job.

This put a cramp on my artistic efforts and severely limited the time I had to recruit new artists to the cause. I contemplated going back to school at night for an art degree to force myself to keep creating, but the money just wasn’t there. Plus my wife and I had grown accustomed to eating; I just couldn’t bring myself to make the mistake of following my heart to do the job I’d always imagined I would have when I grew up. That is why Beautiful Mistakes is changing again.

I want people who are faced with this choice to be able to choose the mistake. I want to enable artists to go for a degree that is “only useful for rolling papers” instead of going to law school. Not that there’s anything wrong with law school, if that’s your thing. In fact, it’s a great, upright, respectable thing to strive for; I just cringe a little when I hear about someone toiling for their MBA because they can’t support themselves if they did what they really wanted.

Beautiful Mistakes, the newly Not-For-Profit, will strive to lubricate the artistic process in any way it can. It is a new idea to us, so I’m sure our exact activities will evolve with time. For now, we are targeting a yearly scholarship for students seeking an artistic degree and providing grants for limited artistic endeavors, but we will not be able to do that on our own. We need you.

How can you help?

For now, thanks to our tax situation and current lack of a bank, the best (well, only) way to help us out is to make a donation of your artistic endeavors. We will be compiling them into a quarterly magazine, to be made available via eBook and traditional hard copy. Since our 3 employees don’t draw a salary, the cost of the magazine will be able to go directly to growing the above-mentioned art funds, but we’re going to need some content if we expect anyone to buy it.

We’ll pass along more information about the first issue of the magazine and the scholarship as soon as we’ve nailed them down more. Until then, we’d love to see your work. Any kind of work. Anything. Given, a magazine lends itself more to writing, photos, etc., but we’re flexible; we can make something work for the right content. Send us your stuff by clicking the "Submit your own" link over to the left there, or flag us down on Facebook/Twitter and we’ll be in touch.