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Dead Balloon

On overcoming rejection

Rejection. We all experience it.

We all read the motivational quotes about how great it is for personal growth - and it always hits hard when it happens to us anyway.

This story happened to me not long ago. There I was, writing up my quote, feeling anxious about striking the perfect balance of my worth and their budget. I weighed up all the aspects: it was a last minute inquiry on a Friday night at 4pm, for an extensive job that wasn’t very exciting – your typical bread 'n' butter job...

I had recently refreshed my memory, reading up on illustrator’s rights and average rates and felt good about the price I had quoted. It was fair and worth the extra time I would have to put in to meet the deadline. My confidence was at an all time high but then came the phone call:  'Sorry, this other guy can do it cheaper, I’m gonna give the job to him, nothing personal, just business...'

And there it went. All the hot and hopeful air that I had accumulated over the last few weeks, re-evaluating my business, getting some coaching and generally feeling like I’m finally on the right track, leaving me shrivelled up like a dead balloon.

The thing is, I didn’t really care about the job. It’s more the hurt felt when someone basically tells you, you and your work is not worth that perfectly reasonable price (established through reading all those self help books for successful illustrators).

What does that even mean, 'it’s just business, not personal?'

Does that mean in a business environment it’s ok to shit all over people? Not it my book it doesn’t and I really do hope I will find work relationships that are based on mutual respect and good ethics.

For now, all that is left of me is a big pile of self doubt and despair.

Will anybody ever pay for my work so I can actually live from it (and I don’t mean just barely survive)?

Is there a point to all of my projects or am I just really good at occupying myself to hide the fact that I’ve actually achieved nothing of value at all?

Why is it that disappointing experiences leave a much bigger mark on us than joyful ones?

As you can see, I’m not good at handling this part of being a self employed artist. 

How do you deal with it? Have you got a secret I could try?

In the meantime I’m going to eat some ice cream and watch ‘How I met your mother‘ for the gazillionth time.

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