Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Best-Laid Plans - no Burning Man for me

How disappointing to learn that I will not be going to Burning Man after all.

Our camp guru, Mama Nicole, read the tea leaves and decided that the rejection of the initial art car drawing and the camp site request are a sign that she shouldn't go this year. Nicole's a 13-year veteran of Burning Man, and had never been rejected before, so I suppose I can understand how she would be turned off by being turned away. The only problem is, without her leading the group, all the planners decided to throw in the towel.

With something as trippy as Burning Man, perhaps one must take "signs" seriously as they could effect your entire experience, but let's look at the "signs" themselves. One rejection in 13 years? I don't think most people are as used to rejection as creative types like me are. Heck, Nicole herself even rejected my idea of distributing a mini-comic at the Burn, citing the "newbie over-gifting" issue, and I was still gung-ho to go!

Not to say that there weren't legitimate reasons for canceling the camp; I'm trying to put a writerly spin on this. So, to continue: I've experienced some form of rejection in most of my creative endeavors, but like an insane person, I keep trying and hoping for a different result. The trick is to adjust and improve. When we adjusted the "the product" - the design of the art car - to conform to "the marketplace" - the approval board - it was accepted. (I didn't post about it when it happened, but the revised concept was accepted and was mid-build when the camp site request was rejected). Supposedly, the camp planners only problem with the revised design was that then it wasn't their "pure idea" and they were in some way "selling out" and Burning Man had become too rigid and boundary-setting, yadda yadda. So the camp site rejection was the final straw. I wasn't in a position to argue, but if it had been up to me, I

would've resubmitted the camp site request, and I bet it would've been approved just like the art car was. Instead, the camp planners felt misunderstood and p.o.'d and dissolved the group.

But this is how artists starve, maaaan! *shakes fist at sky*

Eh. So, I lost out on a chance for a wacky life experience (well, I still have my ticket, but there's no way I'd try to go it alone without the infrastructure - that's crazy talk! - so I'll be scalping someone for sure, ha ha - any takers?), but hopefully I'll have learned something from this.

I'll let you know when I figure out what that something is. Until then, here's one of the sketches I did for the camp costumes. It was in the process of being made, so it too is in project purgatory:

1 comment:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQacfYW6eZQ cool timelapse video of the 2011 Burning Man...