Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeMental StrategiesArt for Arts Sake & Failing like you are Rilke

Art for Arts Sake & Failing like you are Rilke

There is more than one way to fail – and in my last email I described a case of an artist and his exhibition failure and his comeback strategy.

It was a real fairytale in a sense, an instructive tale, a true story, and it was also a capitalist strategy, not a poetic one or one of self-discovery.

Here is a drama with a different ending –

Jules applied to a show and was rejected, for the 4th time in a month, and was ready to throw in the palette, the towel, the struggle to exhibit because it seemed a fire had gone out, an internal fire, this process of networking wasn’t worth it, and that was the last straw.

Things got worse, and after this rejection, in time, she rose like a Phoenix, but not by doubling down on her network and material ambitions and applying to more open calls, and not by allowing her ego to guide her actions.

She decided to go into isolation, to leave, to read “Letters to Young Poet,” and she was 52 years old.

“Go into yourself.” Rilke writes, and Jules spent 2 months without making art or applying to shows or sending emails.

When she returned to her apartment, she began painting, and stopped thinking about where and when she will show, instead, she went into herself, she followed her intuition, and it brought her the peace she was after and the creative energy she needed to have a breakthrough moment with her art.

This is what what the comeback strategy looks like for the poetic approach;

1. Go away and find a quiet place.

2. Go into yourself and explore.

3. Come home and make art for its own sake.

This strategy is also harder than it sounds, it takes guts and support.

There  are many paths.

Both approaches, the poetic and the more corporate tactic are taught at Praxis Center. If you want help at any point – support is here.





  1. I love this post, thank you. It makes so much sense to me in an off-the-map kind of way. It’s about going quiet, going deep, regenerating, restoring, reconstituting and coming out the other end even more alive and vital. Yes ❤️

  2. yes so many truths and crazy myths in the art world. Forty-five years into this world called art can change your perspective. At seventy I do the work for me first. If others like it then that is ok for me. I do sculpture and painting that usually gets exhibited because I believe in it. Sixty-five thousand dollars to pay off my M F A school loan. It makes me laugh. I have had solo shows and I have sold at a moderate pace. My work is not always liked but it is seen and it has affected lives. I am satisfied with this. Do your own work for yourself. Striving to the light of fame and fortune can make any artist become a mad man. Only you can transform yourself and make dreams become reality.


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