Rejection is one of the unsavory bits of being creative and putting your work out there for the world to see. I am in the process of querying for a book I wrote and am involved in a writing competition, so I have been seeing a lot of it lately. Its never a nice feeling, being rejected. It makes me want to act out irrationally, and seems to bring my most immature side to the forefront, and…well…lets face it, she often is not shoved too far back to begin with. I even have days where I want to throw my hands up and say, “Forget it, I don’t feel like writing today.” Mind you, I only say, “today,” because I’m not so beaten down that I’m ready to say the big “n” word yet. In all of the artistic mediums that I have dabbled in my entire life, writing is probably the only thing I feel confident in. It may sound strange, or unusual, but I like my ideas, I like my writing, and when I’m done at the end of the day, I often look back at it with a smile, and a “hell yeah…that looks good!”
So, when I get a rejection I often want to stick my tongue out at those people, and laugh at the absurdity of their ignorance in the face of my fine art. Then I go eat a piece of humble pie and remind myself, it wasn’t meant to be anyhow.
When I run into the moments of rejection that really bring me down, (i.e. it was someone I really wanted to hear a “yes” from) I try to think about Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters. There is an excellent series done by the BBC on those painters, and even though it follow’s Monet’s story the closest, you really get a sense for what those men went through. Most of us could not ever afford one of their original paintings today, but for the majority of their lives these men were rejected, laughed at, and ridiculed for their style of painting. A style that is worth millions and hangs in museums, art galleries, and homes of the very very rich around the world today.
Monet spent the majority of his life painting, working on his craft, and putting his heart and soul out there with his art, despite criticism and rejection. He didn’t even really begin to see the fruits of his labors financially until he was in his 50s. For me, that is inspiration. My work will never be as masterful and grand as Mr. Monet’s or the other Impressionist painters we know today, but if he could endure under rejection, allowing it to be the fuel to fire his passion, well then….so can I.
On a side note, the series The Impressionists was where I first saw the actor Richard Armitage and his performance blew me away. He is another fantastic artist who has been quite inspiring.