PK 050: Artist Derek Rodenbeck on how to Survive Rejection

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Like many artists, Derek Rodenbeck has had to learn how to handle rejection

鈥淭he more you get rejected, the easier it becomes to do new things.鈥滭/em>


You probably haven鈥檛 heard of artist Derek Rodenbeck, but you鈥檒l almost certainly be familiar with his struggle to find work and get recognized.

In this special 50th edition of our podcast interviews, we ask the big question many artists ask themselves: 鈥淲hat do you do next if nothing has worked so far?鈥滭/p>

It鈥檚 a question Derek knows all too well. In our first podcast interview with him, he talked about trying to make it as a comic book artist. By the time of his聽second podcast, Derek had聽abandoned this idea in favor of launching a clothing brand.

Neither of these projects were successful, but he鈥檚 not about to throw in the towel just yet.

He says: 鈥淚鈥檓 trying to figure out what to do next – it鈥檚 a lot of trial and error and learning how to fail fast. It鈥檚 a bit like throwing something at a wall to see what sticks, but I鈥檓 determined to keep trying!

鈥淚t鈥檚 just been a huge, huge, learning experience so far. I just know that eventually something will click.

So what鈥檚 the most important thing Derek Rodenbeck has learned so far?

He explains: 鈥淚鈥檓 not going to compare myself to anybody, because they鈥檙e not me. They can鈥檛 do what I can do, and nor can I do what they can do.鈥滭/p>

Derek Rodenbeck and Determination

Derek talks with refreshing honesty, and his聽determination is no doubt informed by the numerous books on Stoic philosophy he鈥檚 read.

He continues: 鈥淎fter a while I just said to myself: 鈥榊ou know what? Just go back to the love of what you鈥檙e doing and just keep working.鈥欌€滭/p>

And that鈥檚 exactly what Derek Rodenbeck has done.

Although he didn鈥檛 exactly make many sales with his clothing brand, LVN UP, he鈥檚 thrown his energy into making new comic book art (‘No Panic’ will be published very soon), and launching two more T-shirt/lifestyle brands: Beta Wolf (鈥淛ust silly stuff about learning to laugh at life鈥? and Warrior Class, a brand aimed at American combat veterans.

And it鈥檚 this latter idea that might just give Derek the 鈥榓-ha moment鈥 he鈥檚 been looking for. As a combat veteran himself (Derek served in Iraq聽before becoming an artist), he鈥檚 hoping his personal experience will really resonate with potential customers.

We certainly hope so. After all these failed projects and bad luck (a recent big freelance job got cancelled at the last minute), many of us would be ready to give up making art completely.

But, for Derek Rodenbeck, it鈥檚 just another obstacle he鈥檚 determined to overcome. In fact, he even claims these knockbacks have helped him become more creative.

He explains: 鈥淭he more you get rejected or things don鈥檛 work out, the easier it becomes to do new things.鈥滭/p>

Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:

  • How to keep going when nothing seems to be working
  • Why you聽should stop comparing yourself to other artists
  • How to handle rejection and use it to your advantage
  • Why your big break could be just around the corner

People on this Episode:


Mentioned in the episode:

Derek on Deviant Art
Derek on Facebook
Derek on Twitter
Derek聽on Instagram

Listening options:

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Right-click and 鈥渟ave file as鈥 for direct download.

Thanks for listening to our show! We鈥檒l be back next Wednesday morning 8AM EST.



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One Response to “PK 050: Artist Derek Rodenbeck on how to Survive Rejection”

  1. Social Media for Artists: How to Gain New Followers & Clients

    […] PK050: Derek on How to Survive Rejection as an Artist […]


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