Can you say No in order to say Yes to your Art Career?

hedgehog (c) Jessica Serran


I got a phone call yesterday that made my heart sink.

I had that familiar, icky feeling of “this doesn’t work for me…” but being the slow-processor that I sometimes am, it took a minute to realize what was going on and that to say yes to the proposal that was just presented would be to step out of my integrity.

And to step out of my integrity would be to steer my career in a direction that I don’t want it to go.
Saying No helps us to define things as much as saying Yes. 

See, I’m of the belief that our careers are much like the art we make – both are full of nuances and subtleties that we must pay attention to if the work is going to be truly authentic.

In order to get our work where we want it to go, stand in a room full of it and be in our element we have to be really clear about what enables that in the first place.

How many of you have done it all? Made the work, installed the show, designed the postcard, prepared the food, swept the floor, and cleaned up after?

How does that work for you? 

I don’t know about you but when I have to do all of that AND be the artist holding the space for what’s happening in the room something starts to suffer.

Last week we talked about what we have to say Yes to in order to step into what’s next. This week we talk about saying No in order to also take our career in the directions we’d like them to go.



Your turn! Which part of having a show do you dread? Which part exhausts you and takes away from the work and you showing up fully? Comment below!



If you liked this, these might also support your yes-ness and your no-ness:  

What’s Next for Your Art Career?
7 Steps to Get You + Your Work Where You Want it to Be
Saying No to Things

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