February 2011 – Artists and Rejection

I recently read a post – Thoughts on Rejection by Richard Christian Nelson. Within the posts, Richard states:

“As an artist, it is important to develop a thick skin. It is impossible to create work that everyone is going to like. Those that are indifferent to our work, or actively dislike it, can cause us great pain and can influence us more than perhaps they should…”

“Essentially the choice comes down to this in any rejection situation:  is it worth the effort to try to salvage the situation or is it best to accept the disappointment and move on? We cannot please everyone and some will prove impossible to please, no matter how hard we try. I think the key is to not internalize a lasting sense of failure. The great majority of my clients are very happy with my work. But we can have 99 successes and 1 failure yet, somehow, we tend to internalize the bad experience…”

“Ultimately, we are like waves pounding the beach. We just keep at it, knowing that we are doing what we were put on earth to do and always trying to advance down the endless road of learning and becoming better artists and people…”

Source: Thoughts on Rejection by Richard Christian Nelson

I’m so glad I came across Richard’s blog and this article in particular! Truly, everyone can relate this concept to some extent as it applies to numerous situations outside of art and in everyone’s lives.

As someone who is trying to shy away from perfectionism and be more open/relaxed this concept is very dear to me. I have spent a great deal of time and energy basing my success and value upon other’s opinions and happiness versus my own. It’s a cycle which I am slowly working to break.

This is especially important to me because as an artist with another source of income, the purpose of my art is to explore and share my creative self. If this so happens to be financially rewording, than that is a plus, but that is not the sole or main purpose and that is more reason to not dwell on what Richard terms the “1 failure”.

At the end of the day things can only affect us to the degree that we let them and Richard’s article really puts it all into perspective.

Can’t please the entire world, so what, life’s too short, move on and seize the next opportunity. I love it!