This week I got two rejections: MCBA's Prints Now in 3-D! and 23 Sandy's Book Power! exhibitions will not include my work. The rejection emails I received couldn't have been kinder, coming from artist curators who know the sting of being told no. It still sucks.
My initial reaction was to take it lightly and move on - after all, I'm still riding high from a string of recent acceptances and big steps related to my art. But then it hit me - ouch. Tiny panicky doubts popped up...is this all just a fluke? beginner's luck? am I not as grounded in my art as it feels? with time, will I be revealed as not a "real" artist?
This morning I woke up and didn't believe any of those things. I did, however, realize that I need to get my hands on my work and create. To keep moving. To stop stalling on some pieces that feel a little intimidating to me right now (a feeling I've come to recognize as: you're on to something).
I also did a little exploring to see how more seasoned artists navigate the necessary evil of rejection. One of the most thoughtful and comprehensive pieces I've found is by Joanne Mattera, an encaustics artist who also writes a terrific blog about navigating life as an artist.