On ” Rejection ” (Of Your Art, Or Anything)
I recently read an excellent piece called, Thoughts On Rejection, written by Brainard Carey. He is someone that I listen to/read, often. I ultimately sent Brainards’ piece to two people that I care about, as they had both just experienced job “Rejections”.
There are two responses to a rejection. Some of us tend to look at the negative side more readily, and others, the positive side. I can’t say why each of us reacts differently. It’s way too huge a topic to explore here, but I know it to be true. We’ve all heard of the Half Glass Full/ Half Glass Empty, expression.
I’m here to advocate, trying to Practice a Half Glass Full, approach.
I’m not suggesting that we get lobotomy’s and not have Any reaction when we get a No, but I am suggesting that we breathe, practice an OK, and say, that didn’t work out…” So What Next?” approach.
Here’s a personal and recent Art experience that I’ll share…
For 2017, I decided to begin submitting my art, to more Art Calls. There are plenty of them out there. All you have to do is Google it and you’ll see. Here is one that I found. You might enjoy pattering around the site and do a little dreaming for yourself.
Anyway, I selected one Art Call that I thought was Really a great match for me and my art. I took some time to read up on the Juror. We should check out what Their art looks like and take that into consideration. If you are a Pastel Landscape Watercolor Artist, and the Juror creates dark Steampunk graffiti art, it might not be a wise match for you. But Who knows? Maybe he/she would be well minded enough to consider ALL disciplines, for putting together a really well rounded show. It’s just something to keep in mind.
Anyway, I found three of my Hastypearl pieces, that I thought fit the specifics of this particular Art Call, to a “T”. There are instructions for every Art Call. I fulfilled them and I submitted the images of my art. I even put the Selecting and Contacting dates on my calendar and waited. In the end, none of my pieces were chosen.
So, now comes the Decision time.
What do I do, feel, think, about that “Rejection”?
Of Course, my first reaction was, Rats!
I had had time to envision myself packaging and sending off my Accepted Piece(s), and maybe even traveling to this gallery for an opening. But, alas, that wasn’t going to happen.
I next thought, well, what a Dummy Juror!
My pieces were really PERFECT, for the description of the Call (even though I Might have been a little biased ; )
Have you ever had that thought? Of course you have!
In the end, I thought, hmmm, this just wasn’t My turn.
I’ll find Another call that Fits me and try again.
I know that sounds a little corny, but it’s really what I did.
My friends know that I have this Life Lottery Theory.
It can be applied in the positive and the negative way. It could look something like this.
- I try to think of all of the times that I have received an “Acceptance”, or Won the Life Lottery. Not just in Art, but in every category of life. I literally break it down to the tiniest of things. The last time someone smiled at me (yesterday) at the grocery store, that was an acceptance. The last time a friend called, just to talk (yesterday), that was an acceptance. The last time a flight arrived on time, that was an acceptance. The last time good results came from a mammogram, that was an acceptance. They go on ALL DAY, EVERYDAY.
- Then, how about what might be perceived to be the negative side of the Life Lottery Theory. Last week BOTH of my AC’s went out within 24 hours of each other, the week before, my water heater went out. Last week, a fixable but pretty major and expensive install, took place in a remodel we are doing. Two weeks before, I didn’t have pieces accepted, in an Art Call. Etc.
If we are realistic, Eventually, it’s just our TURN, for some “Rejection like” things to randomly happen to us.
It’s just life.
It’s just part of the order of things to have the Goods and the Bads of life happening to us, all of the time.
While I didn’t have everything perfect happen last week, I didn’t break my arm and foot, like a dear friend did. I didn’t get a terrible diagnosis, have a flat tire, chip a tooth, and I didn’t slip on a banana! ; ) In the end, it all balances out for All of us, if we are honest.
The selection process for an Art Call is like a living thing, with lots of moving parts that we can’t have Any Control over. The juror for my Call, might not have liked assemblage, or white, or clay or vintage or the background color of my photos, or, or, or…
There is no possible way that we can control that.
All it meant was, on THAT given day, my pieces weren’t selected for THAT call, by THAT juror.
What it DOESNT mean, is that I can’t try another Call, with those Same pieces, or Other Hastypearl pieces.
And I will.
We scoff a little about the phrase…It’s All About the Process, but it’s true. It really is.
Some possible and valuable questions/reactions could be…
What did I learn?
How will I apply it?
Will I move on?
Will I try again?
Finally, I got an email today, with the 45 artists( out of 400plus) selected for this particular show, and images of their work. I decided to look through every one of the pieces. I even printed them out, so that I could take a close look at what I could learn, and also see if I could see a theme, for what the Juror selected.
You should know some of my actual reactions, as I looked at each piece of selected art….
I could do that.
Wow. That’s cool.
Oh, I love that.
Uggg. I hate that.
That’s my Favorite.
I Wonder how he DID that?
I want to try that.
The bottom line is…the Juror did a Fantastic Job of putting together a Wonderful show for people whose TURN IT WAS, to get a Yes, rather than a “Rejection”. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I also learned some things about my photography and presentation and I will KEEP on learning about that, for sure.
So, my suggestion to us all, is to KEEP TRYING.
When we get a No, study and see if there is anything that we can do to improve, if not, then we just move on, because the truth is, we receive Jillion’s more Yes’s day to day, than we do Rejections.
Keep in mind, that we are ONLY devastated, when we let ourselves Be devastated.
Oh, you want to see what I sent in?
Sure, but its going to take me being Bold to show you, because you TOO, might “Reject” it, and force me to practice what I preach!
I’ll just keep creating and submitting, because I’m getting to do one of the greatest, most satisfying things on the planet, which is to live and trust and share and grow !
Oh, and ps…Do you want to know about the two people that I mentioned at the start of my piece?
One noticed on the job wall, that the job that he submitted for was back open and he reapplied. Smart guy.
And the second one had a seriously impressive pitch passed over and given to someone that that person had already worked with. My associate was immediately approached by someone else, about another possibility!
Those examples roll in ALL of the time, right?
Good can be the Enemy of the Best.
If we are smart, we will just keep Trusting that Providence knows what’s best for us, and isn’t Wringing His hands !
I hope that this encourages you. You aren’t the Only one that hears the word, No, from time to time.
Keep at it…Use it to grow, and I will, too!
The VERY BEST to you..Laura aka hastypearl
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