Everyone faces adversity.
You know, it’s that little smile Miss Fortune flashes at you as she flips her weeping willow locks of woe over her shoulder in your direction.
Whether you’re trying to scale Mount Everest or simply open a bottle of Southern Comfort.
Okay. Maybe I’m the only person who has trouble with that last one. Don’t judge me. I can barely lift that country chic bottle let alone open it.
Life always throws obstacles in your way.
This is especially true for artists. They face the most difficult types of adversity.
From creating art to gaining publicity for their art to making a living doing what they love.
But what’s the biggest hardship artist’s face?
Nothing irks artists more than rejection.
Some would argue that criticism is the biggest problem artist’s face, but it’s not.
You see, criticism implies that someone is actually taking the artist’s work seriously. Rejection means that, that someone isn’t taking it at all.
Rejection letters often state the artist is a bad artist, and is an asshole for submitting their artwork in the first place.
Artists can become so bogged down by adversity that they believe those rejection letters contain the opinion of every person in the entire world.
Every artist dead, alive, or otherwise has experienced rejection. The most infamous of which is Vincent Van Gogh’s failures. He only sold one painting during his entire lifetime, and he only sold it for a fraction of what his work is worth today.
Even though rejections do add up, especially in the early years of an artist’s career, they need to look at them in a positive light. Rejection letters are actually a good thing. They mean that they’re putting their artwork out there for people to see.
Rejection letters are really a badge of honor. They suggest that the artist has taken risks. These risks and rejections speak to the artist’s professionalism. They’re willing to stick with their art in the face of adversity just like Vincent Van Gogh.
Take it from someone who knows.
I accumulated almost 400 rejection letters from Corporate America in the span of three years. I kept them in a shoebox, neatly tucked away in the back of my closet so that the only rejection in my life couldn’t rule it.
One day a flood ravaged my home, and I lost my shoebox of rejection amongst most of my worldly possessions.
That flood inspired me to start my business. If Corporate America wasn’t going to hire me, I’d hire myself.
How do you handle rejection?