Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rejection Sucks

Rejection sucks. There is nothing pleasant about it. As an artist, I face rejection on a regular basis. Whether it's from a gallery I really want to get into or a magazine that I am hoping will publish my work, I've experienced it all. Sometimes it comes with a very nice letter/ email, like the one from a recent gallery that explained that while they like my work, they don't have a place for it in their gallery. They wished me luck in my career and encouraged me to keep them on their mailing list. These kinds of rejections I don't mind as much. At least they softened the blow by complimenting my work. Then there's the really short responses that simply state "Thank you for your submission. We don't find your work to be a fit with our gallery" or no response at all. Those aren't easy to take and it can be really easy to let rejection get me down.

As an artist, I put a lot of value in my art and my existence as an artist by whether or not someone likes my work. I know that I should only value how I feel about my work and find intrinsic value in it, but that's nearly impossible. Everyone wants to be liked. Every artist wants their work to be appreciated and valued, even if some won't admit it. It's a fact of life. We need admiration in order to feel good. So what do I do when faced with rejection? Cause let's face it, I will continue to be rejected many more times.

When I start to feel down about being rejected, I think about all the times that someone has loved my work. I think about the clients who have literally cried when they saw my paintings because it moved them so much. I think about the gallery owners who believe in my work and represent me. This usually helps, but sometimes I need more.

I realize that in order to be successful in art, I have to submit myself to rejection on a regular basis. For every rejection I get, I know that I am one step close to being accepted and having my work shown in the galleries I want. I can't quit just because I didn't get into this ONE gallery, or have my work featured in this ONE magazine, or even make that sale I really needed. I have to pick myself up off the ground, brush myself off, and keep submitting my work. I need to keep making the best paintings that I can. I know that someone out there will appreciate what I do and I look forward to the day that they say "Yes, I LOVE your work. I want to show it in my gallery."

Image: Artzone 461 Gallery shot from the "Introductions" show in April, 2010, where my work is now showing.

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