When you are an artist, and especially if you are going to sell your art, you will need to learn how to deal with and face rejection. But this is one of the most difficult things for any artist to learn how to deal with.
To learn to deal with artistic rejection, you need to ensure you believe in yourself as an artist and not let the rejection define your art and who you are. When you are rejected, try to acknowledge the rejection’s pain and then learn to let that pain go. If the rejection is extremely painful, you may need to take a short break from your art. It important that you realize that not everyone will love your art, but that is OK. So be kind to yourself.
Learning how to deal with rejection is important for almost every artist as every artist must deal with rejection at some time.
Here Are 8 Ways to Help You Deal With Artistic Rejection:
1 – Believe In Yourself As An Artist
Do not let any rejection define your art and who you are as an artist. I once heard a definition of an artist as:
It does not matter how many classes you have taken or how many art degrees you have or do not have (though I am sure both of those help your painting); once you decide to take up a paintbrush and paint, you are essentially an artist.
Being an artist can be a bit like a lot of other things in life, in that we may tell ourselves that we are not as good as other artists. I know I use to feel very insecure about my art, but the more I continue painting, the more I can define my art and style, the more confident I became.
Defining my art style is an ongoing process. My entire life will be spent learning about my artistic style and then changing and adjusting my style. Constantly refining and re-defining your art is just the nature of being an artist.
So when you do not feel good enough as an artist, remember that the minute you had the courage to pick up a paintbrush and start to paint, you became an artist.
2 – Do Not Let Rejection Define Your Art
The world is filled with a lot of different artistic tastes and all different kinds of art. Some people will love your art, and others will hate your art, and yet others will be neutral about your art. Some of those that may not appreciate your art may even be your closest family and friends.
Work on defining your art and yourself as an artist. Those who do not like or appreciate your art do not allow them to change or define how or what you paint. Instead, learn to listen to that inner artistic voice inside you and remind yourself that you are an artist.
I love this quote by Vincent Van Gogh:
3 – Do Not Let Your Art Define Everything About You
Artists are generally people who feel things deeply. That is what can make a designer or an artist so great at their work. We feel our art and our art is a part of who we are.
But like most things in life, things can come and go. There may be times in your life when you feel an artistic “dry spell” and hardly paint at all. So you must know who you are as an artist and a person so you can work your way through those “dry spells.”
Vincent Van Gogh has cautioned us all on not losing our minds in the process of giving our heart and soul to our artwork. He said:
Put your entire heart and soul in your work and not lose your mind in the process. When you feel something so deeply, I realize this can be a hard thing to ask an artist not to lose their minds in the process when they feel rejected. You can continue to feel things deeply so that your art can pour out of your soul and have the personal fortitude to continue with your art – even throughout the pain of rejection.
4 – Acknowledge the Pain of Rejection – Then Let It Go!
When your art is rejected, then one of the healthiest things you can do is acknowledge your rejection and the pain you are feeling then deal with the pain and learn to let the pain go. Learn to be able to move on from the pain and keep on going. If you need to take a bit of time off from your painting, then do that but then come back.
I also love this quote by Vincent Van Gogh:
Like Vincent Van Gogh, learn to be yourself and not care if people approve or disapprove of your art. And keep on going no matter what rejection comes your way.
5 – Look Forward Not Backward
Learn to look forward in life and not look backward. When your art is rejected, learn to look more to the future than 21`the rejection you have just encountered.
Vincent Van Gogh also said:
Be in with all your heart with your art. But also be able to learn from past mistakes, past rejections and move forward towards a bright future.
6 – If the Rejection is Extremely Painful, Take a Short Break
Sometimes the rejection may be so painful that the best thing for you to do would be to take a short break from painting. If you decide to take that short break, then make sure you get back to painting as soon as possible.
Vincent Van Gogh also said that:
So when you are in the midst of those storms or even in the high tide periods, there may be times when we need to have a break from our art. When you need to take a break from your art, here are a few things you can do:
- Use the time off to review – If you decide to take a break from actually painting, then you can use the time off to review your art and look at the work of other artists you admire. This can help you to get additional inspiration.
- Set a date or time to come back – Set a date or time when you will get back to painting again. Then on that date or time, pick up a brush. Even if you do it for a short period of time, at least do it and start to paint.
- Have a plan – One of the most important things you can do during this period of time is to use the time as planning and goal setting. Have a plan to learn new things and brush up on your skills.
7 – Love Yourself No Matter What
No matter what happens with your art or with you as an artist, love yourself and treat yourself well. Let that define who you are, not the rejection.
As Vincent Gogh also eloquently reminds us:
8 – Realize Not Everyone Is Going To Like Your Art And That Is OK
This is perhaps one of the hardest things for most artists; I know it is for me. We naturally want everyone to like our art. Especially in the world we live in today, we like to count all the likes we get or do not get on platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
But the truth is that just like not everyone will press a “like” for your art on Instagram or Facebook posts, they will also not like or appreciate your art in person either.
Vincent Van Gogh reminds us that things can be tough when we first start painting, but as we get going with our painting, things will get better. Here is what he said:
So the moral of this quote is that whenever you start painting or doing anything new, it can be difficult, but as we do it, the easier it becomes. Even if you get some rejection and people do not like your art – keep on going – keep on painting.
Even some of the best artists that have ever lived as Vincent Van Gogh has had to deal with a lot of rejection of their art. The main thing is that you do not lose sight of what you are doing and why you are doing it. And most of all, it is important that you continue painting and developing your artistic style.
How do I apply for an Art Exhibition?
Many artists will want to exhibit their work at an art exhibition. Here are a few things you should remember when applying to exhibit your art at an Art Exhibition:
- Pick your best art pieces – This goes without saying; it is just common sense that you would pick only your best pieces to be shown.
- Take excellent photographs – Make sure you pick your best pieces and take amazing photographs of the art you are exhibiting to show to those that will exhibit it. Also, if you sell your art, you will want to have excellent photographs.
- Tell a compelling story – People love to have a story so they can relate to the painting and your art. So be sure to tell a very compelling story. Stories such as: Why did you paint this painting? What inspired you to paint it? Is there a story behind the style, the colors, and the technique? Then be sure to tell a compelling story clearly.
- Look professional – Look professional by having name cards, a logo, a website, and other social media accounts. It would help if you look professional and that you know what you are doing with your art.
What Are Some Common Mistakes That Cause Rejection From An Art Competition?
You put a lot of effort into an art competition application, and you felt you had done everything right, but then you get the email or phone call, and they tell you that your art has been rejected. You then discover that the reason is that you made some common errors or mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
Here are some common mistakes that you should try to avoid:
- You did not fully follow the requirements of the exhibition.
- Your photos were of low quality, so it did not really show your work in the best light.
- You did not follow the requirements of the exhibition for the photography of your artwork.
- You omitted or mistyped important information on the application form.
- The art and your artistic style did not fit the theme of the art competition.
- You only submitted one image, though you could have submitted many more images for the same cost.
- No proper CV or resume, so the judges cannot properly judge your qualifications.
- You did not provide the proper medium descriptions or size dimensions.
- You rushed your application process, so you made some common and costly mistakes such as the email, phone, or other information was not correct, so you were automatically eliminated.