On rejection and generosity

Notes to self and fellow souls from an underwater artist
(title picture: “Basho’s Frog (A Smaller Splash)” (partim) by Sky Hoorne 02022)

The healthy way to handle rejection is not to harden and not to go into counter-rejection. Not to get caught in trauma and drama.
To go back underwater and to remain generous is the best way to thrive and survive. To be able to stand alone and be nourished by the people who support and care if you are lucky to have some around, and to feed on the energy and contentment released from the creative process.
The answer lies not in thoughts or in returning the rejecting gesture but rather in the body and the prereflective realm.
Honour the generative source, focus on delivering the next offspring of creations, like a dedicated midwife to nature’s infinite creativity.

Rejection of particular forms of creativity is usually a question of economics, of personal preferences and tastes, of ignorance, there are plenty of reasons… It is an opposite of generosity, a denial, a frustration (a blocking) of offered, invested energy.
Gatekeepers can act ungenerously, either deliberately or unconsciously, or they are forced by circumstance, by scarcity, by politics, …
Tastes and backgrounds differ. Never take it personal, even if they do.
Don’t let somebody else’s judgment define you or your work.
If they don’t like or understand what you do, that is basically their issue, not yours. If people like or love what you do, same thing.
You can only do your best to deliver and stay true to the creativity that
springs into you, the rest is largely out of your hands and not your responsibility.
Getting a podium and visibility as an artist is great if it happens. If it doesn’t, resentment is not the way to go.
Bitterness stalls and eats away at you and your life force.

Count your blessings, not your rejections.
Creative talent and versatility don’t mean a lot in a world dominated by mediocrity and uniformity. This is not a statement of resentment, it is a matter of fact. Specializing in one artistic trick and repeating it ad nauseam is usually a good recipe for success. Especially if you adapt a style that is trendy and give it a little personal twist. It is easier to pigeon hole and to market, a schoolbook example in branding.
Creativity in our culture is applauded as long as it fits certain rules and expectations. Deviate from that and face the hardship. It was like that centuries ago, and it still is. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you have something new or different to tell, brace yourself to get rejected many times. Believe in what you do and evolve, no matter what. Accept the inevitable pain of refusal. Digest, let go and most important of all, keep on moving, keep on doing new things.

Your place in the world is already in the making and expanding, it is only its acknowledgment in the public domain and in the art /creative scene that is absent. It is not considered or adapted yet, and perhaps it never will be. Don’t wait for it to happen. Not all ideas and art forms get exposure or wider consideration.

Work on clarity of meaning. Through your own formalized explanation of your work a pathway is offered to the world for it to be understood and absorbed in common thought, but it is not a given nor is it in your power what others do with your efforts. If you have the zeitgeist and mainstream perspectives against you, accept that. No use in looking away from the truth.

Support is great if you have it. If you don’t have a local network and you are not a great networker, don’t bother.
If you are not backed by academia and/or a number of gatekeepers, rejoice in your unbound freedom to create, free from anyone’s arbitrary limits and tastes. It is a rare and precious gift to possess. Do your thing, know your art history if you can and don’t doubt your work and yourself too much. Don’t despair. Have faith in the meaning that is enfolded in your creative efforts.

Childish desires are for children. It is futile to focus on getting accepted or to want to be praised by large swaths of people or the establishment. Social media are based on biased algorithms that promote what is already accepted, hot and trending. They are flawed tools to potentially become more visible, with large caveats. Share your work on them if it suits you and expect nothing of it.

Popularity seldom is a reliable indicator of quality or innovation. Don’t underestimate the importance of luck and contingency.
If wider appreciation does happen, that could be a good and welcome thing. If not, then so be it. One has to be firmly rooted as an artist and as a human being.

Deliver, deliver, deliver. Become inevitable if you can.
Be like the bird that hatches her eggs without expectations, be like the DNA that subtly mutates, the tree that regrows its leaves, the toddler that enjoys manipulating wet clay for the very first time, making something out of nothing. The creative process is sacred, it is the very essence. Don’t let your mind or that of others play tricks on you.

There is the art creation on the one hand and the art game on the other. It is much healthier to remain generous and playful internally than to lose yourself in a largely meaningless game.
Play with your eyes and hands and your imagination, not with people. And don’t let them play you.

Continue to flow and grow, with rejection as a catalyst, a fertilizer, not a showstopper. Flow like water, don’t dam yourself in and the stream will find its way.
Go underwater in the world of flow and create.
The world of thought and dry land is necessary to live and survive but it is not fundamental. Rejection of certain forms of creativity is part of that realm and can be necessary too in certain contexts. Due to the arbitrariness however it is seldom vital or very meaningful, like most opinions.

Befriend the vibrant unknown, the creative wilderness

Be generous, be gentle and (re)generate

 "Basho's Frog (A Smaller Splash)" (partim) by Sky Hoorne 02022
“Basho’s Frog (A Smaller Splash)” (partim) by Sky Hoorne 02022

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