Thursday, December 08, 2011
Rejection and perception
I feel like every time I write an email, answer a phone call or write a blog post, I'm all like "I've been really busy". It's true, and I always seem to have more and more that I invite on to my plate (so to speak) but I don't want it to seem like a complaint.
I like being busy, though I do realise it's a fine line between being healthily busy to keep my mind occupied and being overextended to the point where it's more of a handicap than a help! That is why my reevaluation recently - while I feel like I only got part way through my thought process - was as much about working out what to drop as what to do.
Yesterday I built Sienna's loft bed that I've been painting bit by bit over the past week or so. Ben helped me move the window seat from Sienna's room (up until yesterday, Cedar's room) downstairs into the boys' room. I took the cushion off so that it can be a toy table as well as storage. The cupboards down there look great with Ash's pirate ships spread across the tops! Of course, having had to clean the room before rearranging didn't hurt either ;)
So now Sienna's room is upstairs again, she has a loft bed that I bought off ebay and painted white (though I realised when assembling it that it was actually a bunk bed, just without one of the pieces, rather than an actual loft bed as advertised - never mind!). The 'games cupboard' - a raw timber buffet that has been in our lounge room for a few years - is also in her room where the window seat used to be. The same white wardrobe is still in that room, but has been shifted to where Cedar's cot used to be. So my arms and legs are a bit sore today from all the construction and furniture shifting.
I have a collection of kids clothes still to add to Curious Bazaar, which I will try and get to next week! But tomorrow I am off to Newcastle for the weekend. I have a photo shoot on Saturday morning and a workshop on Saturday afternoon. Quietest workshop yet, with just two registrations (a kind of rejection, in a way, but realistically it's a lack of audience), but I'm taking the opportunity to try out a kind of 'photo walk' and coffee stop style of workshop, more like a one-on-one mentor session. We'll see how it goes, and how the weather in Newcastle holds up - apparently it's been a bit wet there this week.
I was thinking the other day that I've had a few rejections this year, but for the most part have just kept moving on. I spoke awhile ago about trying to push the market art thingy for a little while, to have a market-intense few months, and then stop and reevaluate. Well, I have been rejected by three markets this year, and pretty much just moved forward. There are little rejections here and there all the time. Things NOT happening can be a rejection. Getting no response can feel like one, even when it isn't really that at all.
I put in my application for two wedding markets for next year, and was bracing myself for rejection (though Kim of Portobello Bride had been really encouraging last year when I enquired and wanted me to participate, so I felt reasonably confident of acceptance). But I was accepted to exhibit at those, and then I put in my application to the AIPP to become an emerging member. Something that's been on my to-do list for awhile. That was accepted, so that was exciting!
I guess my point is something about passion and perception. I can see now that the things I am most passionate about in my work have the most chance of success - as much as I enjoy the wall art side of my photography, it is a side point to the parts of my work that really get me emotionally invested. As a result, I never dedicated a lot of time or effort into making the art side a proper product line or whatever. I want it to still be an organic part of my art and business.
The less organic - and more official - parts of my business are changing for 2012 to a focus on graphics, blogging and website work and online stuff (Curious Bazaar, for starters) on one side of the coin, and wedding photography on the other. The first is more every day for me already. With two blogs, a handful of Facebook pages and an online shop, I always have more to learn about social media and web marketing, subjects I really enjoy digging into.
Wedding photography isn't new to me - technically, my first job as official photographer was a wedding, and I still love some of those shots (taken on film!). But I have never focussed on it for my business before, so it is taking some reshuffling and things that I am still hammering out details for. I have gone from nervous caution at weddings to relaxed confidence over the years, and I know that I can get beautiful images. It's a beautiful thing, after all, so it's not hard. I love being there to see those moments and to have the honour of capturing all that joy and excitement. Anticipation of a new life.
With marketing of anything, though, there has to be an element of rejection. If there is no rejection, then that's kind of bizarre - after all, everyone is different and how many businesses truly cater to every person's needs and tastes? Finding the right audience is part of marketing. So, handling rejection is part of it as well. It's back to perception. It doesn't have to lead to self-condemnation, which I think is often the way we take things. Emotionally, at least, and then we can rely on our brains to bring some logic back into the picture. Realign our perception. I think about it a lot because it is against my type, but I am constantly rewriting my thoughts to avoid that black hole that low self-esteem can lead to.
I read this post on Maxabella today and it reminded me about this reevaluation that I had planned for the end of the year, and which I've obviously gotten part of the way through, at least for the professional side of my life. I feel like I'm constantly rejuggling, in my head, to work out what to do - the next day, the next week, the next year. I have travel dreams, which I would like to be plans but in a practical sense there's a lot in the way (i.e. money!). So I have other plans to help with that, so that dreams feel like possibilities and wishes feel like hope.
And for now, my insomniac Aspergers daughter *may* be asleep in the next room, my laptop is overheating again and my cold seems to be turning back into hayfever. So I'm off to bed, to put my brain to sleep for awhile, and I'll start again in the morning.
What are your plans and passions? Does rejection cut you down, or are you a mind-over-matter person who takes it in their stride? Perhaps, like me, a bit of both?
*All photos from a photo shoot I did featuring Polkadot Lane, Monet Paisley and Little Tree Kids, a session that is currently featured in Tickle the Imagination online magazine.