Tag Archives: Rejection

The Truth About Rejection…Brian Blackmon

16 Jun

I recently had the very cool experience of being interviewed for an upcoming article about art (my favorite topic) for the Ocean County College alumni publication Ocean Views. I don’t know how much of my take on things will end up making it into print when the issue comes out later this summer, but I wanted to share herein what I had to say about dealing with rejection, for the benefit of all of you nifty and much appreciated Neptune City-Saturn Town blog subscribers (your blogs are very awesome, I might add) and book series readers. Hope this helps:

Never take rejection seriously; it is only up to the artist to decide the true merit of their own work, for it is the artist who creates the goal which inspires the work, and therefore is the only authority regarding the degree of success achieved through the completion of the work. Interpret each new art piece as an additional step taken toward further improvement, and accept and celebrate any perceived faults inherent in your style or execution, for faults are unique and individual and create a distinctive voice. Always believe in yourself, and get your work out there as soon as you can: you never know the positive and lasting impact the addition of your artistic presence can create. 

The Truth About Rejection…Dan Jurgens

13 Sep

For every fan of the exciting and long running Superman mythos (that uniquely American saga first dreamed up by boyhood friends Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and finally introduced—after much struggle—to the world in the pages of Action Comics #1 in 1938), there will always be that one truly exceptional artist whose work shall forever define the character and mythology in the reader’s own estimation. Artist and writer Dan Jurgens is that definitive creative talent in my book, a sentiment shared by countless Superman fans who breathlessly followed the exhilarating consecutive epics “The Death of Superman,” “Funeral for a Friend,” and “Reign of the Supermen” (in my personal opinion, Mr. Jurgens’ Superman #75 from 1993 remains the greatest single issue since the character’s initial introduction by Siegel and Shuster themselves), and were irrevocably hooked to see the just as thrilling aftermath which led, with a stampede of suspense, into “Zero Hour,” “The Fall of Metropolis,” and beyond (fans were even given the longed for treat of witnessing Lois and Clark finally tying the knot under the watch of Mr. Jurgens and his collaborators, with 1996’s memorable special Superman: The Wedding Album).  

Dan Jurgens’ amazing and critically acclaimed career certainly extends well beyond the Superman universe, garnering, with each new decade, an exponentially-growing fan base through his distinguished and varied contributions to every flagship character residing within the famed libraries of industry giants DC Comics (Booster Gold, Justice League America, Green Arrow, Teen Titans) and Marvel Comics (Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man).

It is certain that Mr. Jurgens will continue to amaze and define the great superhero mythology to the delight of readers, and it is a wonderful honor to herein share such an industry legend’s own insight on the issue of rejection.                            

Dan Jurgens:

There comes a point where every artist has to deal with rejection.

It’s different for different people, and I suspect you’re talking more about the idea of people having difficulty getting into the business and the feeling of rejection that goes with it.

I was fortunate, in that I started on a monthly book for DC– Warlord– and had plenty of work, good work, from day one. 

Nevertheless, there’s always a point where an editor might not feel you’re right for him or simply doesn’t like your style. Some take it as rejection. I simply say no one bats 1.000 and move on.

The Truth About Rejection…Mallory Lewis

7 Sep

Renowned ventriloquists of the vaudevillian stage Edgar Bergen and John W. Cooper both had daughters who regrettably avoided the specialized profession and art form which each father had spent so many years struggling to perfect. Fortunately, Mr. Cooper was able to find an eager pupil in the person of Shari Lewis, daughter of the “official magician of New York” Dr. Abraham Hurwitz (an individual renowned for his own knowledge and ability in the realm of illusion). Thus, the “guarded secrets of the trade” possessed by this celebrated master of ventriloquism were happily bequeathed to the next generation, and Shari Lewis—drawing upon the genius of her own father in compliment to the lessons of her tutor—clearly exceeded even Mr. Cooper’s and Mr. Bergen’s abilities in an extremely distinguished career which brought laughter and learning to both children and their parents, and made her joyous roster of characters (including Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and Charlie Horse) household names .

Mallory Lewis, the daughter of Shari and the current recipient of the brilliant torch of the Hurwitz family legacy devoted to bringing joy into the lives of others, continues to demonstrate an equal mastery of the ventriloquist art as that practiced by her late mother; perpetuating the beloved Lamb Chop tradition of excellence which found its germ over half a century ago amid Dr. Hurwitz’s many benefit performances dedicated to the children of New York. Like her mother before her, Mallory Lewis continues to build upon the tradition of her family while also forging a unique and distinguishable voice.   

I think everyone can agree that the United States of America, as well as the world, continues to be blessed by the tireless work and amazing artistry which Mallory Lewis and her family has shared. This is her response to the rejection conundrum.                         

Mallory Lewis:

Mom always said that the women in our family can’t hear the letter “N”… so a NO, just sounds like an “O”.  Eventually the “naysayer” just gives up! 

The Truth About Rejection…Sarah Miller on her father Stanley Mouse

5 Sep

As the jukeboxes spread across 1950’s America blared the rock and roll rebelliousness of luminaries like Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, and Elvis to really get the kids jumping at the greasy spoons and soda shops they frequented, the kustom kulture movement was ramping up into full swing, with hot rodders and surfers congregating in California and getting creative with the formulation of their impending counterculture which would soon change the world during the coming decades. Artist Stanley Mouse was one of the leading influences upon this prominent alternative movement, garbing the youth of the U.S. of A in some of the first of his highly imitated monster tee-shirts (an industry created by Mouse and his only real competitor Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth), emblazoning the sensibilities of the Baby Boomers in airbrush with his Freddy Flypogger and assorted weirdoes (a positive moniker of the times).

Teaming up with Alton Kelley in the 1960’s, the dynamic duo helped invent the look of the psychedelic 60’s and 70’s, producing iconic and still sought after Avalon Ballroom posters and album covers for leading bands like the Grateful Dead (becoming that group’s definitive artist).

Mouse (the alter ego of Stanley Miller) is still an active force within the art world at every level, and though he was unable to offer his own take on rejection, his daughter Sarah Miller has very graciously filled in to share a rare perspective on this monumental artist.                        

Sarah Miller:

As an artist my dad has dealt with a lot of rejection but at the same time he is very sure of himself and he values his creations on a level above the ordinary.

My dad has an incredible talent when it comes to doing what he loves and not being influenced by what other people think. He is the most easy going person I’ve ever met and he doesn’t worry about things, he just keeps moving on. My dad never stops working, his prolific catalogue of work is due in part by the fact that he is a night owl and when most people are sleeping he’s painting. 

The Truth About Rejection…Nolan Bushnell

5 Sep

As a child of the 1980’s, I find that it would be an impossible task to even begin to describe the lasting impact which video games have had upon me. Countless arcades filled with flashing screens and computer clamor remain extremely cherished elements of my childhood memories, while equally dear are all of those fun weekends off from school devoted to playing the home versions of beloved video game classics (successfully adapting the excitement of the arcade to one’s humble abode); the stuff of truly exciting family nights or friendly competitions among the best of friends. This entire realm of childhood, universally shared by each fortunate generation since the dawn of video games in the 1970’s, is entirely attributable to the vision, innovation, and skill of the one and only Nolan Bushnell. From Atari (I remember mine well) and Pong (arguably the most famous game of all time, and extremely addictive), to Chuck E. Cheese (where I believe every child wishes they could spend their birthday), to current and future pioneering ventures tackling such societal challenges as education and the needs of the elderly, Mr. Bushnell continues to create new and positive breakthroughs in the fields of entertainment, technology, and business. He remains the definition of bona-fide genius.                    

A very special thank you must be accorded to Mr. Bushnell’s daughter Alissa, who was kind enough to forward her father’s response to my recent inquiry on rejection, allowing readers to receive this special and encouraging insight which can help motivate all of us in pursuing the fruition of our own endeavors. 

Nolan Bushnell:

The nature of entrepreneurship is rejection, upon rejection, upon rejection.  Atari was rejected by all venture capital until we were already at $30 Million in sales.  Everyone rejected the idea of Chuck E. Cheese.  Persistence is necessary.  You have to believe in your project beyond all “no’s”.

The Truth About Rejection…Marc Hansen

1 Sep

In the prestigious annals of comic book history, the late Now Comics will always be remembered as one of the best publishers in operation during the zenith days of the 1980’s and 1990’s (those sorely missed bygone and fleeting Camelot-esque years formerly enjoyed by the industry once upon a time, when competition was high and diversified, and comic book stores dotted the landscape in greater numbers); a rare distinction of greatness which was almost singlehandedly derived from the prolific and roll-on-the-ground hilarity consistently offered by exceptional cartoonist Marc Hansen. Always populating his fantastic stories with casts of outrageously funny and highly original characters (Mr. Lizard, Dr. Goot, and Holly Hornswoggle are but a few), there is absolutely nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon reading through a stack of his renowned Ralph Snart comic books (a character which began life in the pages of Mr. Hansen’s own college newspaper the Ferris State Torch during the early 80’s), with an extra helping of the just-as-hilarious Doctor Gorpon thrown in for good measure. Mr. Hansen continues to share his Ralph Snart with the world via the web at: http://www.marchansenstuff.com/, and has very generously taken the time from his busy schedule to offer his own assessment of rejection. Mr. Hansen makes an important point about the positive consequences which “rejection” can generate in an individual’s life and/or career.        

Marc Hansen:

Rejections are great – all of your senses and emotions are heightened as you intensely ponder your abilities and self-worth. Rejection forces your complacent brain to confront and resolve a great internal conflict. After all of this sensory overload crap subsides, you can begin to critically analyze what the hell just happened.

Ask your rejector for specific reasons for the thumbs down, and more importantly, listen. Become a Vulcan, and remove all of those silly human emotions when you mull over those reasons. At least for me, 99% of the time those reasons are right (or at least have value). So, don’t waste time – learn and move on.

Every one of my rejections have been for the best. I’ve looked back at those rejections, and been glad that I wasn’t accepted. All of them have forced me to move in a different direction and that was ultimately more rewarding and profitable. 

The Truth About Rejection…Suzzy Roche

27 Aug

Whenever I venture into the endless possibility of a local record store, and attempt to thumb through a few of the overwhelming and seemingly endless rows of bins packed-to-overflowing with CD and vinyl recordings reflective of the artistic and/or commercial efforts of over a hundred years worth of musically-inclined talent, it is always the work of critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, actress, and author Suzzy Roche that stands out to me as a shining gem. From inspired collaborations with her sisters Maggie and Terre (who all-together compose the amazing trio The Roches), to equally brilliant and fresh solo efforts like 1997’s Holy Smokes, Ms. Roche continues to demonstrate a touching spiritual depth complimented with an intricate lyrical cleverness and humor. Any of her recordings that I have been lucky enough to find over the years occupy a special place in my own music library (my prize being a vinyl copy of The Roches’ Nurds), while her stunning harmonies remain an agreeable soundtrack-fixture of pack-the-entire-family-in-the-car-and-drive-the-length-and-bredth-of-New-Jersey outings.

Ms. Roche offers a heartfelt take on rejection which is an honor to share with all of you out there in Internetland.                           

Suzzy Roche:

If someone rejects my work, I assume I’ve been barking up the wrong tree.  I expect and accept rejection, but also believe there’s a place for what I create. 

Though I’m not in charge of what other people think, I am in charge of my work habits.  That’s hard enough.  One of the dangerous things about being rejected is that it rattles my faith.  Without faith, I’m sunk.

If I reject myself –– and I do it all the time –– that’s bad.  So I try to be kind to myself. And I try to be kind to others, because they have feelings too.