Sunday, March 21, 2010

Art as Business: Rejections and Disappointments II

Besides getting turned down when it comes to commissions and exhibition there are many great sources to explore to get those wonderful feelings of bitter disappointment!

Some ways to make yourself feel really bad about it (not recommended)
  • Scholarships and grants: please compare yourself with colleagues and friends who got it.
  • Opening of your exhibition: first believe everyone invited will come and add also all those who read about it in the paper. At the Opening count how many actually came.
  • Sales at exhibitions: calculate how much money you’ll actually make selling EVERYTHING including every print in the editions on display. After the exhibition realize that you went 1000 $ minus.

To not let every disappointment and failure become a bleeding wound that drains you of your energy you have to know how to handle them in the right way. Failure is likely to happen and therefore you should develop strategies for handling it.

Here are my strategies for handling Rejections and Disappointments (I visualize them):

Outer body experience
Very calmly imagine leaving your body and have a look at yourself and the situation: Try to be absolutely objective and analytic: why didn't it go my way?

  • Why did this happen?
  • What were the odds (sometimes it's about the odds)?
  • Was there something I didn't take into consideration?
  • Can it have been my own fault to some degree? (this doesn't mean you should blame yourself. You should consider that maybe you could have done better)
If you have a hard time to leave your body and look at it with distance, maybe the voodoo way should be the way to start instead - or maybe the Edith Piaf?

the Edith Piaf: Je ne regrette rien
(here I imagine myself singing the song)

I always try to remind myself that a failure is never a complete failure if you learned something from it (ok maybe you paid a lot for that experience. And maybe you can not immediately appreciate the experience). Just like it is better to have loved and suffered than never have loved at all – it is better to have tried and failed, than never have tried at all. Cry a bit, be sad, sing the song. Then make a good story out of it, learn something (I don't regret it, by I shouldn't do it again) – but don’t continue regretting it and continue crying!

If it’s hard to get the “je ne regrette rien” feeling then try the next one first.

My Voodoo way
Let your disappointment out by making some kind of ritual. Use your fantasy and creativity to punish those people who didn’t appreciate you: construct for example little dolls representing them, build them a little world - and burn it all! (here I did it) Laugh and enjoy the feeling! Afterwards when you’ve calmed down you can try the outer body experience.

Last solution. If you feel you can not get over the disappointment in any other way - tell yourself: They are all idiots! It was no way my own fault! The ostrich is a bit stupid and will not learn by failure – but will on the other hand not ponder about past failures… I think the Ostrich is a happy animal living in the moment!


We Blog Artists said...

I agree...the latter really should be an Artist's way of thought about rejection...
It's how I go about it anyway!
Have a great DAY.

annamaria potamiti said...

It's a tough one- really tough- I know now that every time I exhibit work I go into a depression right after , now at least I anticipate it and therefore it becomes a bit easier. I think I survive rejection by thinking up strategies that will make my work better-
I like what Georgia O' Keefe did- before she had a show she locked herself in a room with the work and gave herself a critique- she then knew whether she liked the work or not and why. After that neither negative or positive comments made any impact on her. I do think she was wise and I do try to be clear about my work too. But I still get heart broken if someone doesn't appreciate what I have worked so hard to create. I think I should practice your ostrich technique!
Thank you for another great post,
Annamaria :)

Steffi said...

Wow, great! Thank you!

Kitty Kilian said...

Hm.. have to think about what you write.. great drawing of you as Piaf and the fire is taking it a level upward too! Well done!

Veja cecilia said...

hahaha, jag fick mig ett fint gott skratt! du är så härligt rak och jag uppskattar det verkligen! jag tror jag kör metod nr 4, höhö. Men jag får nog ge mig på vodoo!