February 19th, 2008

Still feeling a bit under the weather, but here's something fun! Last year, I was asked if a piece of my art could be in a magazine called Presence. The magazine is for spiritual directors and the piece of art, Betwixt and Between, has a spiritual theme to it. I just got a bunch of copies of the magazine in the mail and it looks fantastic! I set it up to take a picture and of course, Tabbers got very curious. One of my goals this year was to have some of my art in magazines, so now I've got one and I'm looking for others to submit to. I get all nervous about submitting artwork places and in the case of this magazine, I was approached without submitting anything. I want to get over this fear and just start submitting without fear.

Today I submitted art to another magazine and heard back from a store that is interested in taking on some of my art on consignment. Putting yourself out there won't always bring the response you want, but you can't get any response without putting yourself out there.

How do you handle fear of failure or rejection? Where are you taking risks? How are you putting yourself out there?

24 Responses

yay you! I have always loved that piece! I think it is important to put yourself out there – even if someone says no it is better than living with the regret of not trying – the hell of what if. I love the following quote: of all sad words by tongue or pen, the saddest are these – it might have been.

I agree.

Congratulations!!! Your art is so beautiful, Leah! It looks gorgeous in this magazine spread!

Love the picture!

Interestingly, I was at the library again this weekend and while picking up David Bohm’s book “On Creativity” (unread at this time) a whole shelf of books on overcoming fears caught my eye.

Of course, I didn’t look through any of them — perhaps I was afraid that they’d just be telling me stuff I already knew but was too lazy (or afraid) to act on? How’s that for circular reasoning?

However, my current theoretical* approach is the worst case scenario — which is to say, articulating the worst case, and hopefully seeing that the reality of it really isn’t the big scary thing that I thought it was. (being careful to avoid cognitive distortions — a lesson that I have to constantly remember as well.)

* I’m too busy working on setting up new systems and establishing new habits to be overcoming fears right now.

The magazine page looks brilliant. It is gorgeous… I read the Liar’s Diary, and I have to say it is a good murder mystery . I do not usually go for mystery, but this one was a good read. Thanks for the suggestion. I have a huge fear of failure. My approach is to hold my nose and jump in feet first. I find even if I end up not doing so well (or just plain bad,) it feels a lot better having tried then not.

Congratulations on getting your piece in the magazine – and I love the picture of your kitty recognizing it :)

I’ve had this probably insane thought that maybe just maybe someone will be looking through flickr, etsy, or stumble upon my blog and will ask me to share my artwork for publication or perhaps to purchase–but by doing so, I am leaving my fate to the wind without guiding it with my own hands. Perhaps I shouldn’t wait any longer for someone else to make the first move. There is slim to nothing to loose, and everything to gain.

I guess the fear our art will be rejected or God forbid laughed…creates the wall we must climb in order to rise above and conquer that ugly beast of insecurity that is in us all.

….with that said, I have started a blog, etsy shop, and joined many flickr groups–all of which were not part of my ‘art’ life a year ago, so I am taking baby steps to put myself out there for review and acceptance.

Congratulations! The spread looks wonderful.

I have a kamikaze approach to submitting stories or books. I (metaphorically) close my eyes and just power on through, then try to put it entirely out of my mind until I hear back.

Having said that, I do remember rejections and criticisms a lot more vividly than acceptances or compliments. I try and forestall them by thinking, as I’m opening the email or envelope that contains their decision, “I won’t get it. It wasn’t very good. I’m not hoping for anything.” As if in a superstitious way I can control or moderate the outcome. Rejections are horrible – good on you for braving it and succeeding.

We’re complicated creatures, aren’t we?

Congratulations, Leah! Way to go, keep on manifesting your dreams!
Hope you continue to feel better and better~xOx

CONGRATULATIONS! and best wishes for your submissions.
My experience with submissions is limited to shows & mostly rejection so far. I try to remain philosophical about it, and use it to motivate me to keep working & growing… but I’m not always so gracious & grown up about it.
I find the hardest part is the actual application process, making myself sit down & just do it.

congratulations!! look at how incredible your painting looks in a magazine! and look at how “betwixed” your cat looks–double magical! :)

i am so proud of you, leah! and, of course, it does not surprise me that these wonderful things should be happening with your art considering all of the energy you have been putting into it. i also have been looking for ways to put myself out there. i have been treating uncertainty sort of like jumping into cold water. you know how you just have to sort of shut that part of you off that doesn’t want to deal with the comfortability of cold water? yeah, i’ve been doing that with extending myself artistically too. i also remind myself about a 100 times a day: “what do i have to lose?” that’s the nice thing about living in a city. no one knows me. really, what do you have to lose?

i’m so glad that we are on this artistic path together. it’s nice to know that you are jumping some of the same hurdles. knowing that we are doing similar acts of bravery gives me a feeling of support, safety, inspiration. i wish you luck with everything you are doing and am rooting for you every step of the way! :)

love you,

Fabulous photo – Tabbers loves your art too!

Good luck with your submissions…

ha that’s the word isn’t it…



Oh! This is wonderful! That is such a beautiful painting, and it looks great on a full pagfe in a magazine. Wowee! You have such an indomitable spirit and positive energy – you put yourself out there and good things happen. There is no success without failure, but that’s all part of the balance of the universe. I think that when we step back from action because we are afraid, it shows a lack of balance within ourselves. So… when I find myself faltering, I find that inner nay-sayer who’s sitting on the other side of my seesaw and tipping it in his/her direction and say, “lighten up, dude… I’m just gonna do it anyway, beacuse this is something I want for myself!” It’s amazing how that simple conversation can set things right and give me courage to go forward.

Leah I know more magic is on the way for you!
I know first hand rejection is not fun, but it does help us focus on what we do want want. I always tell myself “keep moving forward” and ty not to dwell. That is usually after I have spilled a few tears. Crying is a great release for me when rejection hits.

I love the carving you made in the post below. Great idea!

Way to go! This is wonderful news to be sure and it all looks BEAUTIFUL!

As for what I am doing…well, just going with the blog and web site is a huge step for me. My work doesn’t reproduce all that well, so your kind of publishing isn’t a real option.

I am very happy for you, though! It is always great to hear of a sister artist who is moving and shaking. Wonderful!

Congratulations on having your art in the magazine. That’s fantastic! I love the photo with Tabbers looking on.

I had one of my drawings used in Artful Blogging and I was thrilled. Same thing….they asked me! That made it even better. But I still get the jitters when I think about putting my stuff out there.

I was a complete misfit in most every job I’ve tried, and I could literally write a book on that subject. I was always trying to be what others thought I should be. Under all my failures was the yearning to make art, and I gathered art supplies for years. It was as a last resort when one more failure didn’t matter that I gave into my art. I know I am not the best artist, but I am doing what I love, and that is all that counts. I have learned that every piece of art will have parts that work well and some parts that are not so good, but it is okay. Art is a process. If I created art as a means of being accepted, then rejection would be devastating, but instead it is just part of the process.

Your artwork is wonderful and it is great that you put it out there.

Great news, Leah! I just submitted images to a national textile show later this year in Minneapolis — my first submission. Makes me feel like a “real” artist.

I think the biggest risk I’m taking these days is in no longer having a job I can’t stand, and winging it, so to speak, with art-related income. I love what Marcella said just above my comment about being a misfit in jobs — me too!

Now I get to be creative everyday for my real life!

Hugs, Connie

Girlfriend, I’m asking myself the same questions!!! Good for you and congrats of having one of your pieces (a beauty, btw!) used in the magazine. Here’s to taking risks!! ~And thank you so much for your kind words today~ xo

Well frankly I have to say that I don’t think I handle rejection well. I am too much of an idealist and think that if I work hard eventually, eventually I will get there. So, I guess I would say, as rejections role in, you just have to believe that it is all part of the journey.

Oh Leah, this is such good news!
I love that painting, and your pic of it with the kitty is priceless!
Keep it up…you’re such an inspiration.

Congratulations for getting your piece into a magazine! You’re all a-bloom. ;)

Good job! Congrats to you! Yes, get it out there!!! (I’m trying to do that too!)

Major Congratulations for being PUBLISHED! This then is just the beginning. I would imagine it would go well to submit and say, btw, I am published in Betwix and Between or where ever!

I only began this art of mine (art quilts) in July 07. I’ve had one commissioned piece done and paid for, a request for a second and the local quilt shop asked to hang one of mine in their shop for the entire month of March.
Needless to say I am quite stoked! :0

Rejection? Oh, you mean they aren’t ready for my kind of art yet? Well this or something/someone better is coming to me now! That’s my fav affirmation!

I like what Lynda said . . . “Oh, you mean they aren’t ready for my kind of art yet?” I’m reminded of an old marketing saw, “You don’t have to sell your product to EVERYONE in order to make a living; you just have to sell your product to enough people to support what you do.” Different things will be the right fit for different people or situations (like relationships – your husband is the perfect man for you, but maybe not for everyone – however had that may be to consider, it’s probably a good thing!) I find that I have to take a similar attitude in order to deal with rejection – which I tend to take quite personally. “Oh, we’re not a good fit . . . there’s another place where this will be a good fit.” or, “If I really want this piece to fit here, what would I need to change?” If a piece isn’t accepted, it’s not that it isn’t good, it’s that it’s not right for that time and place.

Of course, that can be a hand line of logic to swallow when you’re looking at a rejection letter . . .

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