Sunday, February 3, 2008

ART BLOG: Giving Art 1010% Effort

Once again, my artist friend Gilda Snowden put the voice of reason in my ear. We were discussing rejection and she asked me why I keep applying for small things. She applies for very prestigious grants and shows. I just haven’t done that recently. I am not sure why. Yet in my rejection video I am complaining about not getting into a rinky dink local show. Maybe I think bigger opportunities will bring bigger rejection pain (???) LOL

Anyway, I told her I would think about this.
In the past 24 hours of soul searching and mental refocus, I remembered years ago another colleague said to me “Sheree, you always get picked! You get into every show you enter!” I laughed and responded, “No, I don’t! I just apply for EVERYTHING and the odds are in my favor! I get into a lot of shows because I enter zillions!” Having remembered that conversation, I compared it to what is going on now. I don’t apply to zillions anymore. I enter here and there on an occasional basis. I am nonchalant and just put things together when the mood strikes or something looks vaguely interesting.

This is SLOPPY. Yes, it is sloppy, sloppy, sloppy! I mentioned my art goals in a post last month. I sat here and realized I couldn’t even remember what I wrote. How can I attain my goals, if I can’t remember them? I can’t! I had to look them up! Oh geeshhhhh!! Sloppy again. Also, in my rejection video I mentioned having a target at which to aim. So today is the day I am cleaning my “art house”. I am going to tidy up my goals, aim high, and shoot. Come the next New Year, I will check back to see how I did. I will at least be able to say “I am giving my art efforts 1010% effort!”


Art Credit: “Target” by Jasper Johns
P.S. Jasper, if you want me to stop using this image, email me and I will gladly take it down. TEE HEE


Martha Marshall said...

Sheree, I loved your video about rejection. Boy does that hit home. But I have a suspicion that your friend has given you great advice. If you apply for big things, I think that takes a little of the sting out of rejection.

I hate being rejected by people who don't even know what the hell they're talking about and have no business judging anything but a Miss Strawberry competition. LOL!!!

Sheree Rensel said...

Hey Martha!! Long time no hear from! Yes, you are right. In fact, Gilda wrote me this weekend and said it doesn't feel so bad to be rejected from megashows or huge grants. I think lately it has been hard on me because I have had a streak of bad luck. However, I can't really complain because I have streaks of good luck quite often. Thanks for commenting!! Sometimes I think nobody reads this stuff!! :-)

Kim Hambric said...

I understand your comments on being sloppy. I have been quite sloppy in my approach to selling art. I have almost quit applying to shows -- there have been far too many rejections.

I need to cure the sloppiness. I need to take the whole art business more seriously. I fear that if I do take it more seriously, I will actually have to make a living at it. And if I can't make a living at it then I'm a fraud. Oh my. I need some fear coaching.

Sheree Rensel said...

Kim, First thank you so much for commenting. After writing this post I realized a lot of things. I think I am concentrating too much on my "don't haves" and not focusing on the positives. It isn't like I am so disorganized. I just have to tidy up a bit, you know? I have never worried about not "making a living at it". Even though I teach, I KNOW I am an artist. That isn't a problem for me. I think my biggest problem right now is trying to visualize what I really want out of my art life. I make art. I have a really great life. NOW WHAT? I am making progress. I need to make it crystal clear in my mind and on paper. That is the next thing I need to crystalize!

Eva said...

Yes Sheree, I also learned the hard way about being rejected by those who don't even know what you're doing. I learned from it. Here's what happened:

I was trying to get into some alternative space, because I guess that's who I thought would take me. They sent me a letter saying that "they only show experimental work." Egads.
Well, guess what happened? The gallery across the street, much more prestigious, eventually took on this same body of work. Go figure.

Another scenario: I showed my work to two different spaces in again, an 'alternative' building (ie much younger than I am, all of the artists and curators there). Both exchanges were so uncomfortable and for both of us; looking back it was obvious that I had had my chops down decades before they even thought about being in the art world. It wasn't just an age thing either - it was about the quality of the work. I just didn't belong there and we all instinctually knew it without being able to say it...of course I felt like shit, without knowing all the reasons why.

I now show with an older, established gallery. One with chops, as it should be.

Sheree Rensel said...

Eva, We could talk for hours! Both of your stories are all too familiar. No it isn't just an age thing. However without sounding pretentious, I feel like an ass showing my work to those who I know full well don’t have the education, art knowledge or experience I do. They are so naive and full of themselves. They don't even know what they DON'T know! I gotta let this go. I am trying to get over this hump and just move on. I can feel the bitterness rising and it just doesn't feel good. That is why I have to concentrate more positively. Also, I am going to raise my own bar. That is for sure. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. :-)

RJ said...

Hi Sheree--

I just came across your blog, and would like to tell you that I have enjoyed perusing it. I also enjoyed looking at your art website.

I live in the Detroit area, was an illustrator for 20 years, and am now in my seventh year as a high school art teacher. BFA from CCS, MAT from Wayne State, your alma mater!

I have an art blog; you might find it of interest. Here is a link:

I think I will have to add your blog to my list of links.

All the best from Ferndale--


Sheree Rensel said...

Rick, Ahhhh Ferndale. I know it well. I am so glad you found this blog. I just went to your blog. BEAUTIFUL!! I added it to my links list.
H.S. art teacher, huh? Oh boy, are we having fun yet?? Well, it does pay the bills I guess. Thanks so much for commenting. I am going to read your blog now! :-)