Happy Monday! Today I thought I’d waffle on a little about rejection. Unfortunately it is part and parcel of working as a freelance illustrator and it can be pretty crushing when it happens. Over time I’ve learnt to deal with it better by understanding that it happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m referring to rejection here as something that happens once you’ve created a body of work and that work isn’t used for its intended purposes.
There’s also rejection of opportunities, when you’re put forward for a job that you don’t get. I personally find this harder to deal with. I think it’s the potential of something happening being taken away and it’s an all or nothing situation. When your work is rejected for its original use you might get an inkling from the client that their client (if it’s design based) might be steering in another direction so you can almost brace yourself.
For me as soon as I know there may be a potential job I get my hopes up. It’s so hard not to, I start imagining how I’m going to tackle the project and dreaming of the finished product, ahh it’s lovely. Then the bad news: they went with someone else, they’ve decided to use computer graphics/stock art, they aren’t willing to pay a fair fee, etc. Noooo! It’s unavoidable and it’s rubbish.I got a phone call from Steph at The Artworks recently and it made me think about how I react to news of potential (exciting) jobs. My heart leaps, I feel so happy and excited. I know full well that it’s a 50/50 and there’s a lot of factors against the job being mine and hopefully lots of factors for me getting it. I tell myself to keep calm, don’t think about it and push it to the back of my mind (that’s easier said that done!)
Whilst contemplating this I realized that the initial excitement of a potential project gives me such a boost of adrenaline and happy endorphin that even if I don’t get the job it’s almost worth it for the rush of the potential. It’s what drives me. I guess that’s really how we should see all jobs whether they are completed and seen though to the end and you get to see the finished product or whether you’re offered a potential dream come true job weighed against absolutely nothing at all. It’s the fact that enquiry was made in the first place, that seed was planted. Sifting through rejections we find gems of jobs that have been completed, opportunities that have been fulfilled and even if they haven’t come yet (the jobs I mean) they will and when they do they’ll be worth any number of no’s or sorry.
Rejection is a bitter pill to take but also seems to be one of those things that does get easier. You build a thicker skin and get used to hearing no (hopefully they’ll be a few yeses thrown in there too!) I think it’s true the saying you win some you lose some but through every lost opportunity can come a new sense of determination, ambition or a feeling of wanting to rebel against the no’s. It’s hard to feel positive at the time of rejection (hindsight is a beautiful thing) and no one likes to experience it but I really believe good things are worth fighting for. The challenge lies in addressing rejection as an opportunity but it’s definitely better than feeling rubbish and not good enough. Rejection can mean making space for something new, a chance to improve a certain area of your work/life, a goal to work towards…and so much more… What do you think? Please share above if you have your own strategy when dealing with rejection, how do you cope with it?