The Etsy Blog

Play On: Failure

Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind is a firm believer that failure is part of the creative process. What would we learn without making mistakes? Without failure, there would be no success.

This video playlist is dedicated to all of the lemons out there. Toss those babies in the juicer and let’s make some lemonade.

Tune in to Etsy’s other curated video playlists on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

  • RossLab

    RossLab says:

    I love this positive attitude toward the creative process, and I believe this is true for most things in life. As long as we learn from our mistakes, failure is good!

    3 years ago

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns says:

    I'm afraid of failure! And i make mistakes, and I procrastinate, but thankfully I do learn from them...most of the time! Great post.

    3 years ago

  • tessaholland

    tessaholland says:

    Thanks! I needed that!

    3 years ago

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed says:

    I totally agree with this! I approach jewelry making with the attitude "there are no mistakes" If I make what I used to think is a mistake, I try to work with it and see how it informs my design! ps Love Erin's blog!

    3 years ago

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers says:

    God keeps giving me lemons, because I make the BEST lemonade!

    3 years ago

  • DreamsandJewelry

    DreamsandJewelry says:

    Great advice and Erin is so awesome. :}

    3 years ago

  • chifinds

    chifinds says:

    I'm seeing my desk doodles in a whole new light now. o.O

    3 years ago

  • sweetsere

    sweetsere says:

    The timing of this video kept me from sinking into depression over my recent 'failure.' I don't know how to say 'thanks.'

    3 years ago

  • pinkpurr

    pinkpurr says:

    Great post! So true of art and science... some of the best and well known inventions arrose of failure/accident.

    3 years ago

  • MarthyMay

    MarthyMay says:

    Years ago I had an art instructor who said that at the end of every week he would be extremely pleased if he saw the dumpster FILLED with all of our "failures". Thanks for the post!

    3 years ago

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth says:

    Really enjoyed that! Thanks Erin :)

    3 years ago

  • LorraineYoungPottery

    LorraineYoungPottery says:

    I love the procrastination video! with the rocking music, so much energy going on there except on the paper. I think this is why one MUST put ones hands on the materials and then it does happen. I have noticed that just not getting down there and into the clay can be the issue. My mind can be very blank but my hands know what they want to express. Just trust that you don't always need to have an idea. :-} Lorraine

    3 years ago

  • UUPP

    UUPP says:

    Nice. Great post!

    3 years ago

  • spicedish

    spicedish says:

    Everyone is so afraid of failure, but think of all the awesomess that has come out of screw ups... i.e. Silly Putty!

    3 years ago

  • belladorn

    belladorn says:

    Thanks for the awesome creative upbeat video. It's easy to forget that falling down is part of learning to walk. Was the young Bob Dylan really wiping tears from his eyes over bad reviews? What a lesson!

    3 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie says:

    Great article! Thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • outofline

    outofline says:

    Great playlist! I especially love the first video, that's some creative procrastination. Also Seth Godin interviewing Richard Branson, pretty sweet. I went to a talk Seth Godin gave here in Seattle- truly inspiring. Thanks Erin for putting this all together:)

    3 years ago

  • peshka

    peshka says:

    Very cute!

    3 years ago

  • LoveCharlie

    LoveCharlie says:

    Really great! Thanks for sharing :-D

    3 years ago

  • auntjanecan

    auntjanecan says:


    3 years ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    VoleedeMoineaux says:

    Failure really is a wonderful thing. How else will we learn?

    3 years ago

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite says:

    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • marieleighchelle

    marieleighchelle says:

    Great Post!!

    3 years ago

  • judahross

    judahross says:

    Erin, you rock my world...I REALLY needed to hear this today...thank you!!!

    3 years ago

  • designformankind

    designformankind says:

    Oh I'm so thrilled you loved the playlist, friends! Keep your head up - failure can be a beautiful process. :)

    3 years ago

  • ParkandBuzz

    ParkandBuzz says:

    Thanks for sharing! I was just on this topic with my little girl a few days ago saying that it is ok to make mistakes and we can learn so much from them. What a great message and reminder :)

    3 years ago

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 says:

    Great article! Some mistakes can turn into something more beautiful!

    3 years ago

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos says:

    Love it! Very uplifting post!!! Really great attitude and info!

    3 years ago

  • rebourne

    rebourne says:

    This is the first 'play on' that I've really enjoyed. Thank you for the reminder that failure is so important. Sometimes even fun!

    3 years ago

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka says:

    great post! Thanks!

    3 years ago

  • shopmeowzy

    shopmeowzy says:

    I totally get this because as a kid I failed at almost everything I'd try to create as a kid, and I'd end up giving up a lot of the time because I felt like I'd never get any better. But because of that, I'm a more patient person now. And ironically enough, now I get a lot of things right...

    3 years ago

  • SimpleSmiles

    SimpleSmiles says:

    what a great video! growing up in a strict family it was not easy to allow yourself to fail. Now that I'm older it is truly the best way to learn and grow! this video should be played in schools:)

    3 years ago

  • jamiespinello

    jamiespinello says:

    Loved the first video! So true!

    3 years ago

  • VagabeadJewelry

    VagabeadJewelry says:

    THANK YOU! I really appreciated your smile, energy and positive view of failure. Now I've gotta get back to the drawin' boards!

    3 years ago

  • bijouxboutique

    bijouxboutique says:

    More people should embrace failure, it's a truly inspiring place to be!

    3 years ago

  • DAlexandraGraphics

    DAlexandraGraphics says:

    Thanks for the post! I really needed the encouragement to reinvent and persevere!

    3 years ago

  • SaruStar

    SaruStar says:

    These are some great videos! I love mythbusters- the bull in a china shop was great. Thanks so much for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • jessalinb

    jessalinb says:

    Enjoyed them all, thanks Erin :)

    3 years ago

  • KJsnaturallycreative

    KJsnaturallycreative says:

    Good collection! Like Bob Ross once said, "There are no mistakes, just happy little accidents!" :-)

    3 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    When I want to procrastinate, I watch Etsy Play On videos. These were great - thanks Erin.

    3 years ago

  • styleforlife

    styleforlife says:

    She is just darling....LOVE her blog ALOT! :-) x EL Vintage

    3 years ago

  • ManoBello

    ManoBello says:

    One of the better teachers...failure... Positive message. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • sewrubymoon

    sewrubymoon says:

    This is great! I just started a blog series dedicated to "fails" glad I'm not alone in getting these out to the open and share what we've learned :D

    3 years ago

  • jerseymaids

    jerseymaids says:

    so good to remember this - thank you!

    3 years ago

  • yimmekedesign

    yimmekedesign says:

    This post makes me think very positive : " YES, finally I am FAILING...I MUST be on the right track. Kind of like like the opposite of : Yaiks, everything is going smooth, something really bad is going to happen..."

    3 years ago

  • candyalicedesigns

    candyalicedesigns says:

    I needed that, thank you.

    3 years ago

  • jamary92

    jamary92 says:

    Yes as others have said. Good stuff. Love the Fail Harder part. What inspiration. Thanks for having this play list, it was a boost to my creative dormant life.

    3 years ago

  • esla

    esla says:

    A great post! It's hard to take failure and turn it into something thats not a works (I'm still trying to get there).

    3 years ago

  • tjalaine

    tjalaine says:

    Love Erin's view on failure and I couldn't agree more! The video is also super cute! It's so fun to see her on Etsy and elsewhere! I knew her growing up and she has always been sweet and optimistic!

    3 years ago

  • MamandSirs

    MamandSirs says:

    Great post...just shared that on twitter and Facebook, Thank you :)

    3 years ago

  • MiSuenos

    MiSuenos says:

    What a wonderful post! I especially liked the one on persistance. Creativity is just like anything else in step forward, 2 steps back at times. Thank you for sharing

    3 years ago

  • kararane

    kararane says:

    that was completely radical...Bob Dylan to bulls in a china shop to Failing Harder push pins...what a great set Erin*! thanxx...not feeling~ too bad about all those ooops ..

    3 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Animation is soooo cool!

    3 years ago

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist says:

    great collection of videos! thanks erin ~ love it!

    3 years ago

  • BettyAndFrank

    BettyAndFrank says:

    Really inspirational Erin, thanks so much for sharing! I'm a total believer in failure leading to success / being something to celebrate and learn from.

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Great collection of videos, wow thats a lot of push pins! typography of fail harder is lovely : )

    3 years ago

  • whitecloudcreations

    whitecloudcreations says:

    Word cannot tell you how thankful (how full my heart is with thanks) for this play list. I have lived with the fear of failure in my art for decades, it has paralized me and kept me from doing what I enjoy, to a point that I have lately been pushed to face it. You play list is spot on!!! Take it from someone who has expended his energy being creative at procrastinating. I'm currently reading an EXCELLANT book titled "Fear and Art". I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has a parallizing fear when they approach thier art. Excellant play list... excellant.

    3 years ago

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana says:

    Great message about failing. Thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • Gengiskunk

    Gengiskunk says:

    I think I'm in love with Erin hihihihii. Compliments for your blog. Thanks.

    3 years ago

  • snapcandyfoto

    snapcandyfoto says:

    Superb video! I love stop motion illustration-in-progress animation like that.

    3 years ago

  • PaperPolaroid

    PaperPolaroid says:

    My FAV Etsy far

    3 years ago

  • ZionShore

    ZionShore says:

    You had me at "bull in china shop"! I very much enjoyed this playlist!!

    3 years ago

  • nightcloud

    nightcloud says:

    so human and so true... a lot to learn here, in a forgiving way... :)

    3 years ago

  • AmericanHandmade

    AmericanHandmade says:

    Great post. I love the positive attitude. It reminds me of the story about someone asking Edison how it felt to have failed over 1000 times while trying to create the lightbulb and his answer was " I didn't fail, I just found over 1000 ways it didn't work" Most of my favorite pieces I make started with some kind of failure. I now look at my failed pieces as seeds for future success ... Peace and Love ... Jill M.

    3 years ago

  • dotworks99

    dotworks99 says:

    Thank you for this!I am off to try again.....

    3 years ago

  • clarelamure

    clarelamure says:

    Awesome, I enjoyed that. thanks

    3 years ago

  • janeeroberti

    janeeroberti says:

    Inspiring! But I have to disagree with the "switch it" video in one respect. Often great art is ahead of its time, and an artist may have initial critical failure, only to have the work lauded later. Both F Scott Fitzgerald and Herman Melville had extremely popular first novels, but "The Great Gatsby" and "Moby Dick" were panned, and they died "failures." In the case of these 2 books, I am ever grateful that when they "switched" their work, it was not to create a more popular novel, but are more true one, to say what needs to be said, not just what people want to hear.

    3 years ago

  • TaylorArts

    TaylorArts says:

    Ha! Very cool video. Just the sort of thing I love to do!

    3 years ago

  • Intentions

    Intentions says:

    I'm a true fan of lemonade made from lemons. All of my greatest new ways of doing things have come from pushing through failures, mistakes, bad timings. And there's something about once a mistake is made, the pressure is off! That's when creativity comes alive.

    3 years ago

  • vamdas

    vamdas says:

    I really liked this post. I'm just starting on this site and terrified it won't go anywhere or nobody will like what i have to offer, but i love what i do and i'll keep on trying. Very inspirational.

    3 years ago

  • MarinaThitta

    MarinaThitta says:

    Great selection of videos, real iinspiration. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • TikaCeramics

    TikaCeramics says:

    Thank you for this! I was inspired!

    3 years ago

  • Reelinvitations

    Reelinvitations says:

    So loved this post! Thanks.

    3 years ago

  • littlealouette

    littlealouette says:

    love you erin.

    3 years ago

  • mrskaine

    mrskaine says:

    Thank you! Failure has been a concern with a new shop but now I feel inspired.

    3 years ago

  • schmooks

    schmooks says:

    This just such a lovely post. I love the idea of creating for yourself rather than for others. I think owning a shop or selling a product we often get caught up in what we 'think' customers may or may not like - so we end up designing with that in mind rather than with creative freedom. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing xx

    3 years ago

  • ArcSquare

    ArcSquare says:

    Thank you for this! I really needed it now. :D

    3 years ago

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies says:

    I got started creating for myself and then others wanted my creations so then I started making for them and stopped making things for myself....great post. Thanks.

    3 years ago

  • artworksbycarol

    artworksbycarol says:

    You look like Jeannie, form I Dream of Jeannie! CUTE

    3 years ago

  • colourmetwice

    colourmetwice says:

    Um, I don't get this. Its not her talking, its her spending hours on YouTube to get other people to say what she refuses to sit down and thoughtfully write out herself. In fact, she talks to sooo little in between each video I find it too choppy and bouncy and finally just stopped. Cute, but overall, I feel like she just became her own video topic. Sorry :/

    3 years ago

  • designformankind

    designformankind says:

    Thanks again, everyone!

    3 years ago

  • memoriesonhold

    memoriesonhold says:

    I needed to hear these messages about failure-because that is what I am feeling now. I have had my shop open since August and I have not had any orders or for that matter anyone who has expressed an interest. But I will keep trying!

    3 years ago

  • sarahsquiltsncrafts

    sarahsquiltsncrafts says:

    My grandmother seemed to have a quote for everything. One was "If at first you don't suceed try, try again." When I begin making something new I like to make a prototype to see where and how I can improve to get the end result I envisioned.

    3 years ago

  • Rt9NJvintageFun

    Rt9NJvintageFun says:

    Thanks, Erin One never really savors success unless you have traveled down the road of failure, life is making it work for you, as all,it takes time with knowledge inserted in there. Enjoy the laughter in the creative process.

    3 years ago

  • DesignsbyDebbieKay

    DesignsbyDebbieKay says:

    I thought Erins' presentation was the best! My favorite video was the "Bull In A China Shop" by Myth Busters. It was hilarious! The videos were all humorous and relevant to the topic Erin introduced. Well done!

    3 years ago

  • marioblack03

    marioblack03 says:

    thanks Good post cellulean

    3 years ago

  • GraphwicksOnEtsy

    GraphwicksOnEtsy says:

    I've always been creative. By nature I work to perfect a craft and move on to another challenge. My inspiration always stays the same but the medium changes over time. I have definitely made a mess of many creations, but I've stuck to it and even some of my mistakes along the way have turned out to be just as beautiful as my finished work. Great post!

    3 years ago

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    bruceadams50 says:

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    3 years ago

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    3 years ago