|Famous R.Crumb illustration|
Yesterday, I received what I estimate as my 12th rejection letter in the past year or so for an exhibition, residency, grant, or other art related thing I applied for. I won’t lie, it sucks. I want all letters to begin with “Congratulations!” instead of “On behalf of the committee...,” but there are a lot of dips that come with the wonderful highs that come with being an artist.
I admittedly ran away from my first foray as an artist because of fear of rejection and/or not being good enough. After working as a graphic artist for a few years, I enrolled in college as an art major. I was an adequate artist—I could pretty much draw what I saw—but felt inadequate next to students who had a natural gift for great draftswoman/manship. At the time I thought that being able to draw and paint photorealistically made you a “real” artist. As a student, I was also writing a lot and found that it came naturally to me, kind of like the draftswoman/manship of my art classmates, so I went the easy route and dropped art to become a writer.
After several events and epiphanies, my desire to create overrode my desire to be perfect and I returned to art. This time though it was with the understanding and pledge to myself that regardless of whether I was the worst student in the class, I would persist. No easy routes.
So my plan for the day is: to persist, to paint, and to work on some more applications. Chin up girl.