The important role of rejection in our creativity

There are people who would be okay living a life free of rejection.  That life sounds safe and comfortable but is it an environment to create the best art?  Each of us has some unique ability, something we do that no one else can do quite like we can.  That's your art.  We face the challenge of finding the space we need to create that type of art.  For some, creating this type of art might come with compensation for using this unique gift mix.

I'm learning my first try is not always what the other person wants, as in the finished product didn't live up to the expectation. There is always the small sting of disappointment and the questioning begins.  "Am I capable?"  "Can I actually do this?"  "Am I not good enough?"  These are real feelings I have when someone comes back to me that the first try hasn't hit the mark.  But is rejection a necessary step for you to create your best artwork?

What do you do when you face rejection?

Here's what I'm learning if I want to continue to create art:

1.  My art is product of me - I'm learning to separate who I am from what I create.  In my case someone hires me to create something for them and they have an idea or theme they would like to see.  If I miss the mark I haven't proven myself to be a false artist, I just didn't capture their thought well.  So I need to dig deeper match up their thought with what I am capable of creating.

2.  Delivery is important - As much as I would like to think it's only about what I create, it's also about how I deliver it.  I'm still learning a lot about delivery but I pay attention when I am wowed by someone else's work or service.  Again, this doesn't say much about who I am as much as about what I am or am not doing.  That can be fixed.

3.  Art to the masses becomes commercial - I'm not going to be able to make everyone happy with my art.  But what makes artwork fun is it's a unique experience.  I'm not trying to create something commercial, which I expect everyone to use and be familiar with.  Instead, I'm trying to create something for one person.  It's not B2B (Business to business), nor is it B2C (Business to costumer); what I want to do is P2P (Person to person).  I want to give someone a gift, something they can call just theirs and the love it.  If someone rejects something about the work I've done they are looking for something that is truly theirs, I can't get upset with that.  My goal can't be to make everyone happy, just the person I am trying to serve.

Rejection can't be the end point to what you uniquely do.  When creating art try to use rejection in the one of the following ways: 1. As a sharpening stone, you might be able to go to a new level with your art.  2.  Is it your artwork facing rejection or your method of delivery?  3.  Are you trying to please everyone or serve someone?  Commercial art is cheap, your art is unique.

Are you contributing art?

[youtube 4-cYsU_Rxr4] Seven minutes.

In less than seven minutes he inspired us.  Did you ask why it moved you?  Let's be honest, you've seen lots of great paintings with some pretty amazing landscapes.  For me, when he brings the knife to the canvas I am waiting for something spectacular.

What's your knife?  What do you bring to the table that you can do in less than seven minutes that makes the rest of us feel inspired?

Too many get stuck because they falsely believe that significance is the amount of time invested instead of using unique gifts.  Bring your gift that transforms basic into extraordinary.  Create art for us.

Ship it good

Top three things I learned about leadership in 2011

#1: Leaders Ship

You're probably thinking this is a joke but it's not a joke. I know, obviously leaders ship because the word is leadership. Seth Godin has forever influenced me through his book Linchpin (which you can order through my sidebar by placing your cursor over the book) because he talks about the importance of shipping an idea. Yes, everyday people package things in a box and hand them off to UPS or some shipping company to be delivered but this is different. This shipping means you stop having an idea and you start sharing your idea. This shipping means you stop thinking about an invention and you create the invention. You've got to ship it, ship it good (I mean come on, you had to see that coming). Whatever you think would make the world better for people you have to ship it!

The desire to ship is to lead where no one else has been. In a time that isn't yet defined and without a standard, which I think is now, Godin would define creation in this span as art. I want to be an artist that ships. I don't want to be a good factory worker that is always on time and just does what their told. I want to look on the horizon to see what's coming and create art for future success. This was my best leadership lesson in 2011, to be a leader who chooses to ship.