Here’s the most common dilemma. An artist wants more exposure, but fears rejection. Rejection in the past, especially in terms of his artwork, may have included an extra sting because his self esteem has been, for so long, directly connected to his artwork. Reject his artwork and you reject the reflection of who the artist feels he is as a person. Even a small comment may send the artist into a tailspin resulting in depression, anger, or ennui. Then, when all is said and done, a comment like, “Why do you have to be so sensitive?” comes along and now the artist feels like he’s walking around with his skin on inside out.
Businesses obviously don’t view their “work” this way. If they did, the shelves in our stores would probably be pretty bare. Can you imagine the Budweiser distributor falling into the fetal position every time a convenience store owner decided not to carry his product? Businesses view their work as a product or a unit with a price tag. Products can be plugged into a spreadsheet. Products can be rung up on a cash register. Simply speaking, the number of units sold minus the cost of creating the unit equals the amount of money the business gets to take home. The business has no risk connected to the “self.” Their product isn’t an extension of anyone. There’s no anxiety at the cash register in the convenience store when you choose a can of Pepsi over a can of Coke or a pack of Doritos over a pack of Fritos.
Traditionally, this typical struggle of the artist is viewed as a psychological hurdle - nothing a few therapy sessions wouldn’t cure. I’ve heard it suggested that this is a negative trait that needs to be eliminated. But, I disagree. Rather, I would say that it’s a noble trait that needs to be honored.
Artists aren’t broken. We don’t need to be fixed. Our sensitivity doesn’t need to be dulled down. The same sensitivity that allows us to create our work is the same sensitivity that allows us to feel such anxiety during business transactions