Rejection, how do you deal with it?
Let's face the art world is rife with rejection.
But how do you deal with it? Withdraw, give up, think we are useless, get cynical, angry, frustrated, and stop making art? Or do you not even put yourself or your work out there for fear of rejection, what other people will say?
I have felt and done both. I have exhibited work, sold work, but after working in the art world for a long time, I gave up, I hated what I saw, so instead of going deeper with myself, finding out more about who I am, putting myself out there, making art because I loved it, was good at it and it's one of the ways I love expressing myself. I withdrew, gave up and hated the art world.
Don't get me wrong I still hate the system we call art, not the people, the system that allows abuse, corruption, judgement, critique, like they are really really critical, elitism, shunning of good work and great people, the emotions, drama, competition, snobbery, the bulls*** chat, disregard, bitchiness, back stabbing and the falseness, like the art world is really really false, One minute you can be flavour of the month with everyone fawning over you and the next big thing comes along and people are like 'hello who are you?' The art world is very very empty.
But at the same time I love people who put themselves out there, and make art because that's how they love to express themselves, the genuine people. Not the 'art world'. If you have a look around your local community, you town, country, there is some really beautiful work out there made by some very lovely and humble people, that the art world would probably laugh at and snub, because it doesn't fit the picture created of what 'good art' is.
Anyway that's a slight digression, I have so much to share on art, but, back to, is there another way to deal with rejection?
The answer is yes.
It doesn't happen over night.
Along with letting go of horrible fear of rejection, let's be honest, it's one of our greatest hurts, for woman it goes for our lack of self worth - is letting go of expectations and need. The need for people to like your work, ( and that stems back to our education system - and younger - being taught we get recognition for what we do not loved for who we are ) for if there is a need there, it's not a true piece of art, it's based on everyone else, only being 'good' if other people like it, not you expressing yourself from a deeper place, with and ease and flow from your body when you make it. In that knowing I made it, so obviously it's amazing, it might not be every ones cup of tea, and that's cool. The truth is we all aren't going to like everything, that's not how we are, some of us love pink, other love blue, whilst some might like black, and that is a metaopher for everything in life, from the food we eat, the jobs we do, the music we listen to, cars we drive etc.
But when you look at a piece of work and love it, knowing you've made it form your heart you could say, then thats' a great place to be in. Rejection isn't personal, that's what we have to learn, it's not you they are reacting, maybe a gallery simply doesn't like your work, maybe it doesn't fit in with the type of art they sell, the genre they are going for, maybe someone is jealous of you, your work, for putting yourself out there and expressing your self, the choices you are making. Imagine just making work because you felt o and putting in out there because you felt to, with no outcome, need or expectation in mind, that would be so freeing,
Don't get me wrong it's tough, I hate feeling rejection in any part of my life, you know that feeling when you can tell someone doesn't want to be around you, or maybe you have experienced it in a relationship. But its about stepping back, brining understanding, looking at the bigger picture. where is the person at, in terms of art, what type of gallery is it, what work do they sell, does your work fit what they are trying to project? And even what is going on for yourself, does it bring up negative thoughts for you? Can you turn them into a positive? Are there other galleries, could you join a local artists group that exhibit? What about opening an online store, somewhere like on Etsy?
Letting go of the fear of rejection is a process, one that can only be overcome if you put yourself out there with no need, expectation or outcome, bring understanding and learn to not take things personally.
No one gets anywhere if we hide away.