Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rejection, rejection...

Photo by Teodora Totorean

We all faced rejection at some point in our professional lives be that a dream job after we gave it all at the interview, a salary raise, a promotion or a grant that we meticulously prepared for months. For an artist, a rejection means not getting into the galleries you applied for, not being selected for certain exhibitions, or not getting any response at all after you applied to cards companies, manufacturers that use artist designs or other licensing opportunities.  It is in our nature to dislike rejections and even though we read everything about positive thinking and self-help it is impossible not to be affected by it. While some people deal better with this than others, we still can’t help thinking “What could have I done more to get a yes?”

In my experience, I like to think that I am dealing OK with rejection. I am the kind of person that always appreciates what she has. Since starting my artistic career, I am quite pleased with how it evolved so if I get a rejection from a gallery, I know hope that with perseverance and dedication to always improve my art, I will eventually get a yes.  I am not giving up easily on a dream that I am confident it can become true.

What I learnt from my rejections so far:
  1.  Always have faith in your work even though, in your opinion, it isn't quite there yet (don't tell them your concern, it might affect their decision);
  2. Talk about your work: why you used certain colours, patterns or other textures, show that you know your stuff and everything has a purpose in your work; the viewer's perspective might change and what they initially perceived as an imperfection turns out to be intentional;
  3. Listen to the advice from experienced artists and/or gallery owners and take what suits you and your art. E.g.: I was advised to try using lacquer finish or clear spray for some of my paintings and while I was quite skeptical at first (I don’t know why, but I quite like the matte finish), when I tried the clear spray, I was amazed how my paintings came to life! Now I can’t wait to experiment more.
This mostly applies when you are face to face with the gallery/business owner.  When the communication is via email and after looking at your photos you get a rejection from the gallery, then there was nothing more you could have done about it. It might be simply because your art doesn't fit with the gallery profile, or your price range is too low.

Experimentation is the key and your willingness to learn and improve yourself all the time. My challenge for this year is to get into a "brick and mortar" gallery (or two). Wish me luck and if you know someone interested in my work, point them into my direction, will you? :). 

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