Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Rejections as a Part of the Art Process and How the Artist Handles it
I asked Mary Ann, of Blue Sky Dreaming, if she would think about rejections as a part of the art process and how the artist handles rejection. She was kind enough to take time to write about rejections and give me some real positive actions that an artist might take. She told me she was in a place of retirement from actively seeking a gallery connection. She said she occasionally hangs her pieces in a local spot or into a local juried show, but she thinks of her blog as her gallery. She told me she sells a couple of pieces a year, without much effort.
She also said there was a time, when she was associated with a co-op gallery and saw first hand, the juried process. She said, she had had rejection of a piece and had the same piece accepted and awarded so a thick skin is required. Choosing a show or gallery that reflects one's aesthetic is so important.
Mary Ann told me she began her art career in the arms of several art professors that gave honest strong critiques but also emphasized on listening with one's heart on hold. She said, that she could trust these professors to tell her what she needed to hear about growing in the area of image making. And she said she also had a couple of important art friends, that were way ahead of her in their careers. She said, each one took her on in a supportive way. They always had an ear to hear her when she was beginning. And helped her to acquire a thick skin.
She said it was easy to re-enter a piece in another juried show, when she had seen other artists do the same. She said she had also felt the initial sting, but over time she learned the process was not perfect, and the juried system was a tough job. Many times, she knew of good work being rejected simply because of limited amount of feet for hanging. She said that she had met with gallery owners that had to make touch decisions about acceptance.
She said, when it came to the emotional, "Sure it is hard and sure it hurts." But she still surrounds herself with artists who are supportive. As a pet peeve, she said, "I can tell you I find silence from a friend or other artist a real problem...as it leaves an emotional elephant in the room. j There are ways to encourage without selling out. I love my art making and need to do the hard job of rejecting or reworking my own work so support is what I expect from friends. My emotional life is connected to the moment I create the work....plenty of emotional ups and downs in the studio...I mediatate. I write in my journal...free writing or poetry...out to dinner massage and a swim...it all helps! The outside world doesn't hurt...their rejection is logical and if it isn't, it needs to be discounted as just mean spirited."