Last Precious Metal Clay conference I met keynote speaker Ellen Wieske. Ellen is an inspiring and witty metalsmith. She works in Maine and has a gallery called Dow Studio (click to find out about her art work). Her other job is assistant director of Haystack (Maine-USA).
I heard before of this summer school but never considered it something for me.
Hearing Ellen talk passionately about Haystack stirred an interest in me.
At home I read the Haystack website, to find out more about this place. I even ordered the catalogue, it arrived end of January. After reading it very carefully I decided to apply for an assistant scholarship. My choice was “Fence” from Deganit Schocken. The title and description immediately ignited ideas and thought patterns.
So I started to collect all the required materials for the application. 3 references, 5 pictures of work with description, CV and motivation.
With trembling stomach I sent everything in. Now the dreaded waiting came. Half March came a very friendly rejection letter.
I was devastated and crawled back into my shell.
I’ve never been good at rejections. Actually in hindsight I know that I prepare myself so well for things just to avoid to get a rejection. This limits me because as a result I very seldom apply. I almost have to be sure I succeed. Not a very professional attitude for an artist.
I wanted to change my way of dealing with rejection and I found help in a book called Resilience from Mark McGuinness.
“Resilience means the ability to keep pursuing your goals in spite of adversity. It is driven by passion, the fuel that keeps you going in spite of disappointment, rejection and criticism. And because it is an ability, you can learn it and improve with practice, just like any other skill.”
This, and other nuggets of knowledge, gave me new insights in my behavior.
It is time to act professional and start to dare more.
I have to get off the Fence!
Even if I get a rejection, it’s just part of creating and wanting to put my work out in the big scary world.
So what did I learn from this experience?
I know that I have to work harder to get my work seen.
I think I can do better and that Haystack deserves better.
I have an idea to recreate the spirit of a summer workshop here in my own studio but that will be something for the next blogpost.
Until then “Keep making your mark”