Monday, February 7, 2011

Dear Artist,We Like You But Your Art Stinks

People who choose to be artists and stick with it long enough come up against a seeming contradiction – on the one hand, the need for an unshakable belief in the importance of one’s art and on the other hand, the ability to disengage from the work long enough to see it in the context of a vast and passive world community.

This play of opposites often becomes a precarious balancing act. Just when the artist becomes certain of the rightness and power of his art, the world out there serves him up a slice of humble pie. Most of us have at one time submitted for review our most profound new work, only to later receive the dreaded “Dear artist, We’re sorry to inform you…..” letter.

Somewhere between our self-assured feeling as we click ‘send’ on the application and our getting back a rejection letter, there ought to be a time-out of our ego; a time of hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. It helps to realize that one rejection of one piece of art is not a guilty verdict of us as artists. And perhaps there is no real contradiction between feeling strongly about our art and, secure in that feeling, being able to accept rejection of it.