Dealing with Rejection

Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work (James Lee Burke)

On my page Textile Adventures for the July 2015 Entry, I mention that I am working on entering juried show. Since July this year I have been submitting entries for juried art and art quilt shows and I have been received a rejection letter on all my entries.

Nearly two years ago I read an article by an established professional art quilter, Carol Ann Waugh, in the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Journal, on how to become a Professional Artist. One of her tips was to enter juried art shows in order to build your resume.

I have been lucky enough for a couple of my art quilts to be accepted to several juried shows in the past. However, the shows I have submitted my work to this Summer and Fall, I really wanted my work to be accepted. One of them was a show that I daydreamed about being in. Alas, my work was rejected.

Yesterday, I did have one of those moments where I thought “Well I am just not good enough, and I am not sure my art quilts will ever be good enough”. The work I see in the SAQA journal is fairly intimidating.

Some days I wonder: “If I did not have to work and could focus full time on my art quilts would they become more ‘show worthy’?”  However that is not my reality and we have to all work within the reality we live.

I am continually reminding myself of all those famous quotes (paraphrased) – that it took Thomas Edison a zillion failures before the light bulb; that this famous author/that famous poet had numerous rejections until they made it; and etc., etc., etc.

However for now, I think I am just going to be sad a little while longer about the rejections and then move on and get back to creating.

6 thoughts on “Dealing with Rejection”

  1. Yes rejection is hard, and it’s hard to know what the judges perceive as art worthy? I think, I feel that when I enter, I want to LOVE the piece I submit; not just something that looks pretty good and I think perhaps the judge will like too. I want to think the judge will feel it is extra special. And there is a lot of “competition” there, so many styles, and some people that are truly, amazing natural artists. So, all we can do is keep trying.
    Cheer up and good luck next time!

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  2. It’s the dilemma of an artist. Do I create what’s popular out so I create from the heart? I think the only wrong thing you could do is ride the fence. Be unique, hone your skills so that your art is precise but don’t lose the heart of it.

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