It has been a while since I have written about Steven Pressfield and his book ‘The War of Art’ but this week I had reason to reread sections of the book. I got the news that the pieces I submitted to the SAQA calls ‘Tranquility’ and ‘Turmoil’ had been rejected. Nobody likes rejection but for many people it can be distracting or even paralysing. We all fear rejection. That fear is hard wired into us. But Pressfield says that a ‘Professional’ artist cannot take rejection personally. Instead she should self-validate and assess her work coldly and objectively. ”Where it fell short, she’ll improve it. Where it triumphed, she will make it better still. She’ll work harder. She’ll be back tomorrow.”
So in the time it took to drink a cup of good coffee (and eat some chocolate) I assessed the pieces (including Storm 1 Jagged) that had been rejected. Did I achieve visually what I wanted with each piece? Yes. Were they crafted to the best of my technical ability? Yes. Did I present them to the best of my ability? Well maybe not – they were hard to photograph so I need to work on this. Will I let rejection stop me from working on the Storm / Still series? Will I let rejection stop me submitting works from this series to other calls? Will I let it take anymore of my precious time in the studio? Nope. No way!
And with that I put on some loud music, sat down at my sewing machine and stitched for two solid hours!