Friday, April 08, 2016

Don't Quit Creating Art! Success Is Right Around The Corner.

Blue Wave © vanessa montenegro
"Blue Wave" By Vanessa Montenegro
Today, I received a rejection email from a residency that I really wanted to participate. I had made it almost to the last round, but then, I was rejected. Last week, I received a rejection email from a show I had applied in January. I had worked so hard on the piece for the show but it was rejected. Yes, both emails suck. But as an artist, at a certain point in your career, you are going to meet failure, rejection, and frustration. They always hang out together and are constantly there creating doubt and tempting you to quit. So my advice is to not stop creating art when you meet them because the truth is that the more you fail, the closer you are to discover success and achieving your art mastery.

Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player, has a quote that says:
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
Michael Jordan

My quote is very similar.
"If I have failed, that means I am getting closer to succeeding and achieving my dreams!"
Vanessa Montenegro

Not everything we create as artists is going to be beautiful, perfect or masterpieces. Out of ten pieces, maybe three will be amazing and the other seven were the learning lessons that allow us to achieve the three amazing pieces. So, what do you do? Keep the three successful ones and toss the other seven, so they don't become baggage in your art life.

Will you be rejected as an artist? You bet. It is part of the job description. If not, ask the Impressionist. As an artist, you will be rejected many times and yes it hurts because your art means that your creativity, process, and technique are being rejected. Don't take it personally. Art is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone sees things the same way. Plus, there might be people with more experience, resources, and connections than you who are applying to the same show.

So what do you do when you are rejected from an art show? I have learned that when I am not accepted to an art show rather that quitting, I look at it as an opportunity to raise my standards. I say to myself "What do I have to do to have better chances the next time?" My first step is looking at what I did and to figure out what I could have done better. Then, I search the artwork of the people who were selected and rather than seeing them with envy, I see them with admiration and I try to learn from them. Search their careers. Learn their techniques. Where there is a success, there is a trail of lessons. So, I look at what I am missing, start getting out of my comfort zone and start creating new art. I don’t quit.

Why don’t you quit when you fail? Someone told me once that if I wasn't failing, I wasn't trying hard enough and I was living in my comfort zone. How correct was that person to tell me that. That same person also told me that "the day one stop fearing, one starts living." The day that person said that to me is the day I became an artist. As an artist, I already know rejection, failure, and frustration. I hate when they show up because they are the unexpected guests that make me want to run away. But, I also know that when I meet them, it means I am trying hard enough, getting out of my comfort zone and living. They show me what doesn’t work and allow me to search for a better way to find success.

I am sharing this with you because I see students sometimes afraid of trying new things because they fear rejection, failure or frustration. They limit themselves or worst they quit the first time they meet failure or frustration. This is my advice to you, the day you put your fears away is the day you will start living and enjoying the process of creating art more than the final pieces. Excitement will run in your veins and become the catalyst for your own success. The day you give up because of fear of failure is the day you fail. While you are still trying, there is hope. Hope always defeats failure, rejection, and frustration. So, stop fearing that your piece doesn’t look good or people will not like your work or that you will be rejected. Art is in the eye of the beholder and there are many beholders. So shift your perception of your art and you will shift your life as an artist. Start enjoying the process and if you get stuck, come to my art studio. I am sure I can guide you and help you to take it to the next step.

Vanessa's Art Studio

Copyright © 2016 Vanessa Montenegro

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