Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, you have to rely on other people to get your art out there.
What I mean by this is that you can’t fly solo. You can’t just lock yourself up in your studio, paint all day and hope it will sell. You have to rely on a wide scope of people if you truly want to be successful, and this can be one of the trickier aspects of art.
Whether it’s sending out a press release, submitting a project proposal, requesting an exhibition space, seeking a guest blogging or promotion opportunity, rejection is everywhere. For every hundred emails/phone calls/gallery visits made, you’ll be lucky if you get a handful of interest. And if you’re working exclusively by email, 9 times out of 10 you won’t even get an email acknowledgement, never mind a refusal.
And while this can definitely be disheartening, it shouldn’t make you quit. In the last year I’ve lost count of the number of magazines, online galleries, physical galleries etc I’ve contacted, to little avail.
It doesn’t mean your art isn’t good.
It’s about breaking through the noise.
Einstein was slow in school, expelled and was told he’d never amount to anything.
Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it was taken up by a publisher.
There are so many examples of people who became successes, and I wonder just how much of that is down to their initial failures.
If a failure can do anything, it can make you stronger.
Figure out what’s not working. Maybe re-write your sales pitch with a completely different tone. Be cheeky, be funny. If you don’t feel particularly confident, fake it. Take a stab at things from a different direction. Look to other sources away from the often tight-lipped and austere world of galleries and agents. Go local. Go green. Go international.
Know that the art system is full of red tape, big shots and quite frankly, bullshit. But if you can cut through the noise, you’ll find your place in the system.
Sometimes, you won’t get your name on the wall, unless your name’s on the wall.