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Ground-breaking illustrator, author, artist, and designer.


Laurie Rosenwald is a painter, author, and principal of rosenworld, a design, illustration and animation studio. Actually there is no studio, Miss Rosenwald usually works alone, and rosenworld doesn't exist. In spite of this, was launched in 1995. Rosenwald graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and School of Visual Arts.

Current work

She divides her time between Sweden and New York City, and has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Pixi in Paris, among others. She's done many drawings for The New Yorker magazine, The New York Times, and other fine publications.

Laurie teaches an incredibly popular workshop called How to Make Mistakes on Purpose (see Topics tab).

IKEA has just launched the BECKMANS COLLECTION which began life in the WORKSHOP, at BECKMANS SKOLA in Stockholm.

Previous experience

Author :Her most recent book is titled All The Wrong People Have Self-Esteem, published by Bloomsbury. It is an inappropriate book for young ladies, and frankly, anybody else. Her children's book, And To Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue was published by Blue Apple. Her New York Notebook is published by Chronicle - a hyperillustrated, overdesigned NYC guidebook, sketchbook, and blank book all mushed up together.

App :Bestselling author and humorist David Sedaris and Rosenwald have collaborated on an animated project: 'David's Diary' has been published as an app for iPad, iPhone and Android.

TV :Laurie appeared as 'Woman' on The Sopranos, a role she was born to play. She can speak Swedish like a native New Yorker, and claims to have won all the usual awards.

Talking Points

How to Make Mistakes on Purpose

This unusual workshop has been taught to writers, filmmakers, musicians, market researchers, salespeople, real estate agents, investment bankers, webmasters, Swedish royalty, and mothers.

Every discipline imaginable. Anybody can do it. It is not just for designers, inventors, and people like that. In Canada, a herd of elk showed up.

One day Georges de Mestral went for a walk in the woods. He got some burrs stuck on his pants. He played around with 'em. He thought, 'What could this be?' And now we have Velcro. Here's what he didn't do: He didn't sit down at an empty desk and think, 'What this world needs is a better way of sticking stuff together! I'm going to be creative now!'

But. Trying to be creative is just deadly. It works about as well as trying to be charming. What we actually do in the Workshop is top secret. After taking part, workshop alumni are requested to respect 'omertà', the Mafia code of silence. It's about surprise, so it must be one.

Penicillin, Viagra, Post-it notes. All happy accidents. Mistakes. But how can you make mistakes on purpose? In the workshop, that's exactly what we do. It is NOT about just accepting one's mistakes - we really make them on purpose.

In every job, one wants to move forward, be creative. We all want to make good stuff. But when you try real, real hard and focus on being 'good' this creates stress. Patterns are repeated. We know how to get good results. We get the same ones all the time! Computers. We all use them. And computers don't make mistakes.

Too bad, because mistakes are where newness and freshness comes from. Out of the blue.

In the Workshop, we get out of our own way - there's no problem-solving, no critique, and so no way to fail.

People invent new things, and have unexpected ideas. That is what it's for. Think of it as tuna surprise, but without the tuna.

What is the 'take home? What do people get out of this?' I guarantee you will surprise me, yourself, and everybody else. Also, it's just plain fun.

Bring Chaos to your Order.

Laurie Rosenwald's Mistakes workshop has been hosted by Starbucks, Google, IKEA, SEED, Brandtrust, 3rd Ward, Meredith Corporation, Burns Group, 72andsunny, Artek, WHITE Arkitekter, Stockholm Design Lab and Banff Centre, all of whom are actively involved in the development of branding and marketing, media and education.
Playing with the Studio 360 staff for an afternoon under Laurie Rosenwald's Yoda-ish supervision was, like eating a certain candy bar, indescribably delicious. And unlike eating a candy bar, it was also sublimely useful. Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers and host of Studio 360

Laurie teaches by forcing through the sheer power of her personality and in-your-face determination. Everyone let go of their preconceptions. This workshop magically reveals that one of the worst ways to solve a problem is to set out to do just that. Like a rabbit out of a hat, Laurie reveals this surprising insight: start with an answer - any answer will do - then go find the problem it solves.

Greg Galle, Starbucks Creative Camp, Co-founder and managing member, C2, San Francisco

By encouraging me to make mistakes on purpose, Laurie showed me how to embrace my inner failure. In so doing, she introduced me to her own special kind of 'failure judo', turning a perceived weakness into something personal, unique, and powerful. I'm now a much stronger designer. And woe shall befall my pathetic enemies now. Thanks, Laurie!

Alex Isley, Creative Director and Partner, Alexander Isley Inc.

We needed a good kick-start for our first year in graphic design, product and fashion design departments, something that would completely sweep our students off their feet, make them less self-conscious and more spontaneous. They discovered something within themselves. It was the perfect workshop for us.

Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir, Professor of Product Design, Iceland Academy of the Arts

Laurie Rosenwald runs the workshop with no name, no direction and takes no prisoners. Make no mistake though, it works. Students have fun, get creative in a completely intuitive and accidental way, and get pushed to stop thinking and just 'make stuff'. It all makes no sense but complete sense too. Be afraid, be very afraid.

University of Brighton
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