Plenty of people denounce Valentine’s Day as one that was invented by the greeting card industry, but put me in the column for wanting more love, more hearts, and more sappy cards.
Recognize the romantic love between you and your partner.
Celebrate familial love with your parents, children, and extended family.
Commemorate the special love between you and your friends.
And don’t forget to honor the love you have for your buyers, collectors, patrons, and students.
Send cards, flowers, and chocolates. If it’s too late to pop something in the mail, start typing your email messages.
While you’re at it, stock up on the love for yourself because you’re gonna need it.
The artist’s life is full of rejection and criticism.
The gallery doesn’t want your work. That couple praised your recent piece, but didn’t buy it. The residency you want so badly won’t consider your application.
To add insult to injury, nobody commented on your recent blog or social media post. You’re beginning to wonder what the point of all this is.
It’s amazing that any artist thrives at all. It’s a testament to your resilience that you persevere despite the roadblocks you encounter.
You do it because you have an unwavering commitment in the work you do. You can’t imagine doing anything else.
Still, because you are human, the criticism and rejection hurt.
And those voices are louder than any chorus of praise you might receive. The default for so many of us is to dwell on the negative comments and rejections and ignore all of the nice things that people say about our work.
Do this instead: Pump up the volume on the positive messages that are all around you.
Dwell In the Love
I won’t pretend that I experience the same kind of rejection as you, but I receive my share. Something I’ve done for years might help you get through the tough times.
I keep a “Loved” File, and I suggest you do the same.
Cynthia Morris recommended that I start this warm-and-fuzzy file about a decade ago. Over the years, my file has grown to four stuffed folders and, wanting to save on paper, an electronic version in Evernote.
The file, in whatever format you choose, is a reminder that you are loved. That you are respected. That you are valued.
Keep that email from a fan. Highlight your favorite sentence.
Take a screen capture of the “I love it!” comments after you posted your artwork on social media or your blog.
Write down the nice things people say to you at your opening. Don’t dismiss them! Don’t wonder why they didn’t buy if they like it so much. Appreciate the moment. Bask in the adulation.
Treasure the kind words from students who benefit from your knowledge and generosity of spirit.
There’s no need to stop at your career and business. Relish the appreciation of friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Whenever you question if you should be an artist, pull out your file and be assured that you do have impact and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
When you receive words of praise, how do you keep them close and meaningful?