Facing Rejection as an Artist
Trying to get into the great big community of retail is a step I have needed to take for the longest time. Unfortunately, as an artist, I stand frozen behind the fearful realm of rejection. Regardless of the bountiful amounts of praise and positive support from my friends and customers; I still become a chicken when it comes to pushing myself past hiding behind the safety of a computer screen and selling online. I’ve learned that this is something that yields many artists. It’s the face-to-face confrontation that scares the bejesus out of me. The reflective response that just may come as too critical or worse, disenchantment that I disrelish so greatly. After all, I put my heart and soul into every piece of art I create. And truth be told, if I can expose myself through the raw form of art, laced with threads of my essence, then I can face the greatest vulnerability of life as an artist; and I believe it needs to be done.
Whenever I’ve revealed my reservations of “selling myself as an artist,” I am welcomed with notions of similar feelings and the same fears of rejection and vulnerability from other artists. In a way, many budding artists, like myself, never allow themselves to truly peak successfully because they stop themselves. I have stopped myself for years because of this.
This year, I made it a goal to bypass the infamous fears of rejection as an artist, no matter what it took. For the first six months of this year I have remained idle, writing off the goal as something unattainable. But that is simply ridiculous! So last week I decided to pull up my bootstraps and seek exposure. I held my breath and emailed several establishments asking them to simply check out my website in hopes that what I create may compliment their shops. That was all it took to take the next step. I received a handful of very polite declines, but with those my work was also praised. So that wasn’t so bad. I also received some great responses, one of which was a spa I really liked based on its website. The owner invited me to bring my work in to give it a whirl. Now, my jewelry is on display in Cote D’Azur spa and I spent the day truly living life as an artist, without fearing rejection, criticism, or dislike. And it was literally as simple as trying.
What I learned from this is that fear is much scarier as the intangible in the mind than the reality of what may actually happen. I am an artist. No one can take that away from me….except me. No doubt, I will continue having that imbedded insatiable fear of rejection, but in time, with each step, I will eventually be able to expose myself in the raw, beautiful, creative sense that we all become when really embracing our calling. In the meantime, I am on to email more shops to wait for the next “yes.”