How Working Artists Survive Rejection

Rejection is an important part of being an artist – or any creative field actually.

So it’s something that you need to learn how to handle with some resiliency.

As an artist and as a writer, I’ve suffered huge rejections. Instead of burying myself under a rock with a pint of ice cream and a raging case of shame, I’ve learned instead to use that same energy resiliently.

That doesn’t mean that I never feel disappointed. I do. But resiliency means that you don’t stop there.

It’s difficult but I want you to try to separate your ego from the rejection and ask yourself, what could I have done better? Differently?

For example, was your cover letter awkward? Were you showing your best work?  Were your materials professionally presented? And was it really a great match to begin with?

Take the time and effort that you’d normally put into beating yourself up and turn the experience into a positive by learning from it and continuing on.

Wasn’t it Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results?

Stop doing the same things over and over!

Stop taking it personally when the same things don’t work. Stop wasting time and energy and start finding new ways instead.

When people say that you have nothing to lose by trying, it’s true. You have nothing to lose. If you asked a gallery to rep your work and they said no, you have lost nothing. They didn’t rep you before, and they still don’t.

You try another, but this time using the insights you’ve learned from the rejection. You continue to repeat until a gallery says yes.

Divorce your ego and feelings of self worth from the outcome. Because that’s not what resiliency is about. It’s about you making the effort and putting yourself out there in better and better ways until you connect with the opportunity that’s right for you.

And that connection will come sooner if you can look objectively at where the weaknesses were and take the steps to improve.

It’s about not allowing rejection to stop you – but using rejection to keep checking the direction you’re traveling in while you continue going forward.

So be brave. And be resilient.


Would you like to SHOW + SELL MORE ART? I’ve helped thousands of artists and I can help you too.

Join now. It’s free. No spam. Unsubscribe when you want.


Working in the international world of contemporary art, Crista Cloutier has spent her career selling art and marketing art to art galleries, museums and private collections. 

Using her professional experiences, Crista has created The Working Artist Masterclass, where she’s developed a global reputation as an artist’s coach. Crista can teach you how to be an artist; including how to sell your art, how to sell art online, how to sell photographs, how to price your art, how to succeed at art fairs, and even how to find your art style. 

Crista has worked with established, blue-chip artists to raise their profile and attract greater opportunities. And she’s also helped thousands of emerging artists to build a professional art practice. To learn more, visit https://theworkingartist.com

Scroll to Top

Art Advice + Motivation straight to your in-box