I just got notice my artwork was not selected for an online show curated by Julie Nester of Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah. There were over 3,000 entries from all over the world! My reaction was to be grateful for the opportunity to have eyes on my work by such an esteemed gallerist. I recall not so long ago being full of feelings about entering competitions: of being 'judged', of not being 'good enough', of being 'rejected', of 'looking silly' for having the gravitas to enter such a competition. It took awhile to put it together. Most of the change of heart came from looking at other artists work, both competition winners and in galleries. I realized art is so personal. What we make, what we like, what we buy. I love so many different varieties of artwork, I cannot possibly afford to buy them all. Not to mention I'm out of wall space.
What is reflected are several life issues: our reactions to 'competing' and 'having enough'. I believe most artists react to competition similar to my reaction. I see how self esteem is invested in 'winning' in so many aspects of life - in sports, in employment (getting the job as well as getting promotions), in choosing a partner (rejection feels so 'personal'). So it's really a big topic. As a practicing artist as well as professional relationship therapist, I was surprised to see how much I had to learn about my own feelings about competition (being good enough). Artists have to resolve this thorny issue or face gut grinding feelings every time they put something out for sale or enter a competition.
Just thinking about this huge topic today. What are your thoughts? I'm interested. . .