Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday June 18, 2010 Further Thoughts Regarding Rejections or FTRR

The last day of the work week. But of course just another day for the artist.

I have two paintings that I am working on, and still have not found time to get to the art supply to get paint. I did get to paint for a while yesterday. Perhaps today I will go out for paint. Always fun to go to the art supply.

In thinking about rejects, probably no one really realizes they will have to put themselves out there about something they do while alone in the most "naked" moments in the studio, but alas, it is true. Sometimes we do. And that whole process can be quit eye opening.

Of course, when one is beginning the process of launching, or relaunching. We often get stuck at the beginning; what will I include? How will I compose my letter of introduction? What is relevant? And it is here, we check the old "need to know" test. Try to be clear, get to the point. And then... the dreaded "follow-up". We haven't heard anything, can we just slink away with our tail between our legs? Can we say, just forget about it ? Why does the "follow-up" feel so much like "begging," and begging does nothing for our self-esteem. But, then we remember, everything that goes out of the studio, must be followed up. -- And that will probably shake some of those rejects from the tree.I have tried to change my attitude toward the "follow-up." I am trying to put as much energy into the follow-up as the original query letter.

I have been thinking, if galleries are not interested in seeing new work, aren't they shutting off the new energy of their gallery. If galleries are not interested in finding new work, and generating the enthusiasm, it's probably not even a gallery I would want to visit. Even as an artist, I love to find new work. Work I've never seen, it's exciting to me; new favorites. And wonderful new artists who create new work that I love. Isn't that part of the excitement of the whole art thing?

Since I am not so far into my own project and I see that it will take awhile. I look at it as an opportunity to learn something I didn't know. And if I can take hundreds of rejects thrown right at me and still be standing--I will be stronger for it...or it might kill me.

We can "flip the coin", maybe they are right, who do I think I am? I've got a lot of nerve and maybe that's the point of this whole process? I've devoted my life to what I do and now, it is who I think I am. Who I know I am.

I think we, as artists, have an authentic voice, because we have spent the time in the studio each day. We speak from a place of experience. No one has done it for us. We have sacrificed to create. And the process of trying to share it with the world just isn't easy no matter how you turn it. And when we receive that "umteen", or what feels like a "gazillion" reject for the day, we have to take ourselves to the woodshed, and return to say, thank you for this opportunity. We deny our "smart" mouth, and we say "thank you," that is keeping our power.


layers said...

what an astute and important post-- either an artist never leaves their studio and their work piles up in stacks, or they venture out and put their work out there for viewing, for sales, for juried shows, for galley submissions-- which can lead to rejection or acceptance- after 30 years of painting and putting myself out there-- to much success-- the occasional rejection still can send me back down the rabbit hole.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a thoughtful post. We do risk rejection but gain the prize of authenticity. We do sacrifice in order to pursue our art. The love of finding new work is part of our "pay", the enjoyment of being connected with other artists is as well. In fact, if we didn't have the need for money to pay for things, I would settle very happily for all the other kinds of pay that we as artists receive.