Risk is scary. Rejection stinks. Resilience seems elusive. When I think of these three R words, the word practice comes to mind. Taking one step at a time over and over again because we know it is the only way to make big progress. In order to embrace risk, we have to practice. We step into it, try it on, and, almost always, discover that it isn’t as bad as the soundtrack we were playing in our heads. Rejection is also a practice. We build up emotional muscles after receiving disappointing news. After years of accumulated rejections, we begin to understand that they are rarely, if ever, personal. And finally, resilience is something we have to work at. We were born resilient, but, over the years, life beat us up. But rejections give us courage muscles we never had before. And, because we paid attention, we pick up on a number of tools that help us become more resilient.
My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Christine Aaron. You’ll hear how she embraces risk and has come to understand the role of rejection in her art career. She also shares the tools she relies on to act with resilience, to get back in the studio and do it all over again.
The unusual motivation behind Christine’s first watercolor class selection. (2:08)
Taking risks and challenging yourself in a rewarding art career. (5:31)
Refining your art by sharing it with and soliciting critique from others. (12:45)
Identifying your safe zone and moving beyond it. (21:45)
Taking on the work that pushes you out of your comfort zone. (25:12)
Name the risks to work your way through the potential rejection. (32:57)
What rejection really means about the work that you’re doing. (39:46)
Honing your resilience skills amid rejection. (40:35)
Stop comparing yourself to other artists and remember how far you’ve come. (45:45)
Reflecting on your work, your processes, and your improvement. (47:06)
The risks that Christine is going to take in 2022. (48:00)
“There’s not one of us that hasn’t experienced disappointment and loss in life.” — Christine Aaron
“I make work ultimately because I want it to resonate with someone else. And the only way to do that is to get it out there.” — Christine Aaron
“Think beyond what you can imagine now and know that you’ll have the ability to get the resources you need to do it.” — Christine Aaron
“Every artist I know gets way, way more rejections than they get acceptances. But nobody is talking about that.” — Christine Aaron
Christine Aaron is a conceptual and material-focused artist. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally. Aaron received an artist’s grant from ArtsWestchester — New York State Council on The Arts, a Surface Design Association grant, and a residency and grant from Vermont Studio Center. She presents talks at The International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA, received awards in printmaking and mixed media, and had a solo exhibit of The Memory Project at California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks.
Aaron holds a BS in education from Cornell University and a Masters in Social Work from Hunter College. She lives and maintains a studio in New Rochelle, NY.
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/rejection-aaron-podcast