Friday I went to the Learning Resource center at UCLA School of Medicine to talk a little bit to the students, most of them in their 2nd year. We gave them free pizza to lure them in and it worked. Quite a few were actually interested in the art and asked some good questions. I was even surprised at my own self with the knowledge I had on the nervous system and was able to hold some pretty intelligent conversations.
Then I headed over to USC to pick up my work that was at the Hebrew Union College. A lot of driving. That’s LA for ya.
Today I worked on and submitted my application for the California Community Foundation fellowship for Visual Arts. The deadline isn’t until March, but I just wanted to get it over with. I had recently applied for a smaller grant to help me to get to NY to attend the reception of my first show there next month, but was rejected, so I’m not going. I apply for things all over the place, kinda constantly. I do not usually get them, but once and a while I win. So to all of yous out there that think it’s not worth it, you have to keep trying. Eventually you will be awarded with a few. I can’t tell you how many grants I have applied for. Countless! And I apply every year. Before the NY thing, I had applied for the Durfee and I was rejected, and I have won that grant twice, but I have also applied for it at least 10 times and didn’t. So you have to keep at it.
And don’t think I don’t feel crushed when rejected. I still do. Perhaps more so than when I was younger. I don’t know why that is, but I do. It doesn’t last long, but I get pretty devastated on “rejection day” and just try to keep busy to get my mind off it. There is a LOT of rejection in the arts. a LOT. It’s not for the fainthearted. I guess you just have to commit to it, whether you believe in yourself in that moment or not. It’s like a promise you have to keep. You have to rely on yourself because no one else is going to go this distance for you except you, so it has to be important. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a stupid endeavor either. It’s just as important than being a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, and it’s certainly more important than being a stockbroker or a politician. You’re not in it for the money or the fame, so it’s kind of like being a nun, so hats off to ya! Give yourself some credit and buy yourself a Hershey bar!