How To Deal With Rejection As An Artist

By Nicole Tinkham

How to deal with

Whether an artist or not, we all experience rejection. Whether it’s in our jobs, our hobbies, or our relationships it’s not an easy thing to handle. Rejection makes us feel as though we aren’t good enough. We start rethinking all of our goals and dreams. Maybe we weren’t really cut out for that thing we were once totally excited for. We feel like failures and we feel like giving up. We could be wrong but it seems like artists experience rejection more. Not to say that other people don’t struggle with it but here’s the thing. Art is so subjective. Not everyone has the same taste. Not everyone will understand your piece. Non-artists may not realize the work that went into your artwork. The art life is totally unique and with that comes a unique set of struggles. In this blog we’ll help you to deal with rejection as an artist so you can continue forward with your passion.

What people may say

People say a lot of things for many different reasons. Sometimes they say hurtful things because they’re jealous. Maybe they just don’t understand your way of thinking. They may be trying to help you. Other times they don’t even realize they said something hurtful. So what can you do about the negative comments about your artwork? Try to view things in the other person’s perspective. This may be difficult but take a moment and pretend that you’re looking at it through new eyes. Could your artwork be confusing to others? Is it a unique style that some just aren’t used to? Is the subject matter not appealing to everyone? Remember, everyone is different and not everyone will fall in love with your art. Also keep in mind that there’s a difference between a critique and rejection.

In a critique, most likely the other person is trying to help by giving their input. They want to give advice and let you know their opinion of how they would do it. Don’t take critiques too personal. Think over what was said by the other person and seriously consider their ideas. Of course you don’t have to go with what they say but you could always use it as a learning experience. Instead of quickly dismissing it, what can you take away from the critique?

Art is very subjective. If a viewer of your art doesn’t agree with your style or vision, that’s fine. It’s nothing personal and we recommend just letting it go. They can have their opinion and you can have yours. A rejection can be a hard hit but keep in mind the people who really are in love with your artwork. Those (as well as yourself) are the ones who matter most.

What you believe to be true

Whether it’s your art, lifestyle, or career choice you do things a certain way for a reason. You do these things because you believe in your heart that you’re doing the right thing. Remember that. Always keep in mind your reasoning behind the things you do. Remember what made you get started in the first place. You know you’re a fantastic artist. You have incredible skills. You are so talented and creative. So why let anyone else make you feel any less?

The message to be learned here is to not let rejection destroy you and your dreams as an artist. Realize that not everyone is the same and not everyone will see eye to eye with you. Let your differences go and just move on with life. It’s not worth being devastated over someone not liking your work. Do you like it? Does it mean something to you? GOOD! That’s the ultimate goal anyway and you know what, like-minded people will love it too. Keep your head up and keep on creating!

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