Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Radical Look at Success

Reached a new milestone in my artistic journey...  MY FIRST REJECTION!!!

I was rejected from an international exhibit, Radical Elements... So why am I calling it a success?  Well, I applied, I took the leap into the unknown, and put myself out there for evaluation.  40 of 61 artists were selected, so I could start thinking that  65% of the people are better than me, or even that my application was the 61st in the what they liked list. But no, I am taking another road, not the higher road or the bitter road, but the third more interesting road.  I am saying ok, the curator didn't select me, my focus is to make art and have fun with it - does this news allow me to still do that? - YOU BET!!! moving on!

Maybe it was lucky that the rejection email was in my spam folder and I saw it after I had basically completed my next piece, which is a possible submission for another SAQA Exhibit.  The creation of it took me forwards and backwards in time: design, sew, design, sew, rip, sew, design...  Don't worry I won't keep it hidden forever, but it's part of a challenge reveal so need to keep it on the hush-hush a little bit longer!

I knew just what to do, I pulled up a podcast, and skipped to the 1 hour 7 minute mark - yes, I've listened to that part quite a few times!  Twyla Tharp on her podcast for the Aloud Series on the topic of of auditions said "This I always say to people in my auditions... Do not take it personally, the person who is in the front has either got a clear idea of exactly what they want and that's been decided before you come in the door, or they are inept.  One or the other, alright, and they let you go, that's it! Go to the next audition!"     Great podcast covering creativity and collaboration - I've listened to it at least 3 times all the way thru! I recommend it and her books to any artist - and we are all artists!   And I don't think the curator was inept, I think she just had a vision that didn't include what I had to offer.  Next!

Here I am on retreat, playing with my watercolors - and I admit freely ,I am not a painter - and yet, here I am painting, loving the process - watercolor is very meditative and relaxing.  For those that don't know me well, I for years dislike painting and other messy arts - to see me to get my hands dirty was a shock to some.  So when my friend and fellow artist, Misty looked over at me while I rubbed the my watercolor to blend (ok, smear) the colors with my bare fingers, she doesn't skip a beat...Misty says to me "ok, a real artist would then smear it on her face"  SO I DID!!! It's hard to see, but if you look close you can see the blue watercolor warpaint that this artist warrior has donned for the battle against fear!  And what is the best way to handle fear, just take the leap!

I am amazed that I have have jumped in both feet and well at least the fingers of my right hand into the mess of art...Who knows where this will take me next!

Great to have friends that give you that extra push when you need it! 

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
e. e. cummings


  1. Rejection stings. It stinks. It's soul deafening. But if you are happy and fulfilled by what you create that's all that matters. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

  2. Cheryl- I think the biggest danger is getting caught up in those feelings - I remember from ice hockey that I had to ignore failure - if a team scored on me, I need to erase that, from my mind. A mentor taught me that the score is always Zero-Zero... Thinking that we are ahead or we are behind, are thoughts that take my focus away from the current action. In fact, I had a little routine of double tapping my stick blade on the ice and then single tapping the back of the goal post with the handle, and sometimes I had to do the "goal eraser" routine twice. Funny, I am actually glad for the rejection, sometimes we are given gifts that we don't recognize as gifts at the time.

  3. Don't ever give up. Of course, it does not seem like you ever will! I had more to say, but this kitten keeps attacking my fingers as they type on the keyboard...