Yesterday Church Marketing Sucks posted something I wrote about Vincent van Gogh for their Church Communication Heroes series, and I’d love for you to check it out.
In total I identified seven things I think we can learn from van Gogh, and I wanted to share one of those with you here:
He fought through rejection.
Van Gogh’s first two commissions were for his uncle, who was unabashedly disappointed by both. As a result, Vincent ended up spending the next several years finding his voice. His style/technique developed over the course of years, which is evident if you survey his body of work. If this kind of dedication is what it took for Vincent, why should we be any different? For me, knowing that the great Vincent van Gogh wasn’t an instant success means that greatness is a byproduct, not a gift.
Did you catch that last sentence? Here it is again:
For me, knowing that the great Vincent van Gogh wasn’t an instant success means that greatness is a byproduct, not a gift.
Van Gogh was not a prodigy or a wunderkind. He didn’t have beginner’s luck. He didn’t stand in front of his first canvas and make magic … but later that’s exactly what he made. He fought through initial rejection and stayed with it.
We tend to think of greatness as endowed at birth and evident from birth, but Vincent had to mine for his greatness. And I submit to you that it was the work of mining — sustained over the course of years — that was in fact the source of his greatness. Just some food for thought on a Thursday.
Head over to Church Marketing Sucks to see what else I think we can learn from Vincent van Gogh.
Scott McClellan is the Editor of Echo Hub and the Director of Echo Conference. You can follow him on Twitter: @scottmcclellan.