Years Helping Others & Hundreds of Rejections. (8.6.18)

I've heard lately - from a few artist friends - some amazement at what's been happening with me.

Truth is I have spent much of my adult life helping others. First, as public school art teacher for 13 years... PLUS, I have taught art & business of art to so many adult creatives! I've also helped many fellow artists directly through events, shows, etc. since 2007. (Though I'm not doing much of that now.)

Truth is until about five years ago, I was like the cobbler with no shoes.

I helped many artists, but too often gave my own art practice & business the leftovers. Kiln glass changed all that. I fell in love and it has changed my life. (Yes, I still love painting.. more about this soon:)

I have been driven most of my life. Privately, it has taken a toll. Over recent years, my walk with the Lord has been growing. (Not easy, but serving the Lord continues to improve my life!!)


2014 was a pivotal year for me trying to do too much. This continued into early 2015, when both my loving step-mom and beloved Granny died in same month. Finally, it was clear I had to put my own art/health/life/Christ ahead of giving myself away to point of having nothing left. 

For the first time (ever really), I put several big goals in front of me... and, (the new part) was sticking to them: perfect my craft/streamline production, scale my glass/score glass commissions, and break into public art. (Just as important were personal goals of putting Christ first in my life, taking better care of myself, and, finally, dealing with my anger issues.)

Incrementalism, big goals with small steps, and serious discipline to get out into glass studio nearly every day - even when not for long - were key. (Being strategic about business side of my practice... which took even more discipline than getting into the studio... saying NO more often, and taking time off, began to become habits.)

After awhile, like warming up an old car, all the sudden, the engine starts to hum... and I start making much better glass, and getting some amazing opportunities!

The biggest take away is - just like most artists - I've faced plenty of rejection.

Honestly? Probably hundreds AND hundreds of rejections since 1993!!

And, yes, rejection sucks. But, mostly, it's nothing personal. And, it does get easier. IF I'd stopped striving because of this mountain of rejections, I'd never have made it to McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 2010. (I'd been rejected at least 3 times prior.)

Like I've done for a quarter of a century, living as an artist, I keep applying, keep making, & keep stretching. (Of course, I'm thrilled the Lord is blessing me with a season of success. But, I keep working on all the things I've shared here:)

Now, I have pulled back the curtain. No magic here. Lots and lots of hard work, rejection, reflection, prayer, and repeat. I've missed so many things - especially in the last five years - as I've reprioritized my life. But, what I've gained is priceless. (IF you're an artist reading this, now go forge your own path:)

Carmella Jarvi