How to Handle Rejection as an Artist

Rejection can be a difficult thing for artists to handle. It can feel like your heart and soul are getting crushed. Rejection is something we all go through. However, it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Here are a few tips to help you handle rejection as an artist:

  • Surround yourself with supportive people: These can be either friends, family, co-workers, or your favourite barista at your local coffee shop. Being around people who get excited every time you talk about your dreams and artistic goals can do wonders for your confidence. That way, when you are feeling as if you’re failing, they are the first people to whom you can talk. It may also help to reach out to someone in your artistic field. Ask them for advice on how to navigate a career as an artist. Who knows, you may even gain a mentor out of it. 
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  • Don’t take it personally: It’s important to remember that your artwork is being judged, not you as a person. If you’re an actor, maybe you just went in a direction that the directors and producers didn’t like. It’s also important to remember that art is subjective. Just because someone didn’t like your audition, demo, or portfolio doesn’t mean that your work is awful. It just means that your work is not their taste.
  • Get feedback: Something that will help you grow as an artist can be asking for feedback on your rejection. As an actress, ask the people you auditioned for why you didn’t get the part. Ask what they liked and didn’t like about your work. Doing this will help you realise your strengths and weaknesses as an artist and to allow you to improve on those weaknesses.
  • Creatively process the disappointment: Artists use their work to help them process their emotions. So, write a play, a song, or choreograph a dance to help you get through the disappointment. There are so many songs out there about overcoming obstacles. One example of this is Jason Mraz. He has referenced in his songs that not everyone likes his music. However, he is happier staying true to himself and still has loyal fans who feel comforted by listening and singing along to his songs.
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  • Never give up: Getting rejected as an artist can make you believe that your dreams don’t matter. It isn’t true. It took over ten years for Squid Game creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, to finally find a home for his show on Netflix. The Korean thriller now stands as the most streamed show on Netflix. So don’t lose hope. Your time is just around the corner.

Don’t get discouraged. Trying to become a professional artist is similar to regular job hunting. You have to keep moving forward. Opportunities appear when you least expect them to. Always remind yourself that every rejection leads you in the right direction. 

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