Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Help: Rejection, what's love got to do with it?

Again and again I see that resilience by artists in the face of rejection is a key factor of success, not to mention satisfaction. I am starting a series of blog posts about rejection for artists.

In that light, if you have a specific way you deal with rejection of your artwork, save all your rejection letters, have a purification ritual after a major disappointment, etc, I'd like to hear from you! Please email Julia and I will try to work you into my series.

I am plotting posts about 1. The Facts (#s from OVAC about different submissions vs. winners and years of submitting vs winning) 2. perspectives from artists 3. perspectives from the "selectors," be they curators, jurors, committees or others. Please give me your feedback! Ciao- Julia


Anonymous said...

Ultimately the goal of any artist is to communicate. Once a person has made the decision to submit work for review on any level they know the odds are stacked against them. It is best to remember why you are pursuing art. I guess I think of art like a puzzle more than a risk to be taken. I am making strides to figure things out for myself and have objects that might reflect that knowledge gained. So, I can't be upset when someone doesn't like my research. I am simply doing my job.

I think the artist needs to be their own harshest critic. On some level you need to be. No one else has as much invested in this as you. No one really cares if you fail or succeed. Which sounds terrible but it is really nice. You can fail quietly and happily. No one dies when you mess up a photograph or get rejected from a show.At worst you've spent some money and time at something you should enjoy.

It really isn't possible for all others to concern themselves with your progress. Knowing when to be the critic and when to be th dreamer is the tricky part. You have to be both at some point or it just won't happen.

After 20 years of making work I finally feel comfortable making things. I set things aside for a while until I feel I want to reassess them. I try to make a lot so I can throw out a lot and still feel like I've made something I can be happy with. That may be a key as well. You can't always rehabilitate something. No amount of time is going to reanimate a dead piece of art.

While making my work I try to imagine being interviewed about the work. I take interviews of artists I like and respond to the questions they were asked. I can often find holes in my reasoning and fix them in the work. I can't say enough about just reminding yourself how rewarding it is being an artist. It is sort of the ultimate freedom.

Julia Kirt said...

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Sounds like I should have interviewed you for this series.