I love rejection!
I love being told no, being told ‘not good enough’ or even ‘just not right”-
I mean, who doesn’t feel better after hearing those two beautiful letters N and O?
Actually me. I don’t. Of course I don’t. But you might think that I did with the way I’ve been courting rejection lately. Phase one of my previous plan to be Famous By August was to first dominate Columbus, setting my sights on bigger fish by September. I began in January with a juried-show application blitz which by June turned into an onslaught of rejection. I would be lying if I said I took every one with a buoyant smile and an ‘aw shucks.’
So rejection is never fun. But it is a guaranteed part of being an artist. It’s funny, but so often things I say or do at my job end up helping myself out more than the participants there. Just the other day I was talking to an artist who is OBSESSED with selling his work. (Every day- “Has my painting sold yet?” “Do you thing this visitor would like to buy my cat and pheasant painting?” “I just hope they sell this painting”) Fed up with answering the same question over and over, I asked him “Doug, if you never sold another painting in your life, and you knew you were never going to sell another painting in your life, would you keep making them?” “Well yes. I suppose.” “Well then, why don’t you just keep painting for whatever reason it is you do, and just look at sales as a doubleplusbonus?”
If you knew you were never going to be famous (even internet famous)-
If you knew your work would never earn you critical acclaim-
If you knew that even if you busted your ass and made Your Best Work and that even then you wouldn’t show it to a wider audience than your cats or boyfriend-
Would you keep making art?
So how about instead of moping or dwelling or scheming, we just make some shit.