One of the things I have found was failure (for example: not making back the cost of having a show and even not selling a piece and perhaps having bad reviews) GETS EASIER TO TAKE. But that comes after it has to be so familiar that it is no longer the single criteria that determines if you are going to do the hard work of being an professional artist.
Nevertheless, failure is the end of some really talented fledgling careers. The hard part is building with quick silver; having the accumulated experience that the work is finally substantial enough to stand up to real scrutiny on its own merits. In the beginning of a career there is so much out there to look at that it is hard to tell what is “good’. Sometimes what gets recognition is only what is novel or trendy. It therefore does not mean that failure is the real measure of talent, only that it should be expected. Creating the work is an isolating endevour at times. Learning to take critique and listen to your own voice when it is really true comes largely from appreciating failure.
Failure is like a tuning fork for the voice of the muse. It is this blending of the possible and the impossible that gives rise to enduring art.
There is nothing in life that does not have a certain amount of failure as a necessary part of growth. Children who start early with a skill have years and years of “not getting it right” under their belts before they get to school and often as soon as they get out of school, they start learning it some more.
J.K. Rowling gives a wonderful and moving talk that touches on some of this: