Thursday, 4 March 2010

Dealing with rejection...

Ah well, the artworks organisation rejected me, I have a letter. I don’t mind really. I am not saying that in a ‘put a brave face on it’ way, nor even in an ‘I’m too good for them anyhow, way’ It’s just that as an artist you learn to deal with rejection. Lots of artists, few opportunities, it’s a statistical certainty that you will get rejection letters. And it has saved me a £100 quid membership fee, so hey ho.

When I first became self employed, I made a folder (see photo.) I am a tidy person and as soon as something has a place in my filing system, I feel better. So now when I get a rejection letter it is just something else to file. Punch holes, put in folder, move on.

(Congratulations to Mike, who did get into artworks! 24 Applicants, 3 places)
To see Mike's work click here...

Apart from the usual factors, like personal preference of the people doing the choosing there are 3 other main reasons I may have not got in:

Firstly I didn’t show up to display my own work. OK so I was teaching an art class, but nevertheless it’s hardly impressive is it?

Secondly I am a watercolour painter and there are tons of us. Individuality gets noticed, and I am well aware that I would do better if I made seagulls out of cereal packets or something. But I just love watercolour!

Thirdly I had to submit an ‘Artists Statement.’ Say those two words to any artist you know and watch the face they pull. We all detest them. Most artist statements are full of pretentious rubbish as far as I can tell. Artists are expected to be angst ridden, neurotic beings, living mostly on gin, having studios with paint all over the walls and drawing their art from deep inner feelings of misery and self loathing over unpleasant childhoods and doomed love affairs.

Given free rein with no consequences I would probably write something like this about my art:

I like to paint watercolours. I am not bad at them. I teach other people to paint watercolours, which is enjoyable. I paint stuff I like. I often eat lunch while I am painting, but in the case of cheese and tomato sandwiches, this multi-tasking has not always been entirely successful. Painting can be difficult. Like when the neighbour’s car alarm got stuck on the other day. Sometimes people buy my watercolours which is nice. Then I get money. I like to spend the money on shoes and books.

But the rejection file is only A4. I would have to move up to ‘Lever Arch’ if I sent that out…

Anyhow, enough about rejection. I have finished a new painting of the water meadows (see photo) and sold some stickers to a lady from California. How exciting! But best of all it has been sunny for 3 days, the birds are building nests, and yesterday I saw a frog in my pond. Spring is here at last.


  1. You are quite right about 'Artists Statements' - just reading those words put an expression on my face that will probably last all day tomorrow and scare away any small children, or even dogs, I might meet on the way to the shops!

  2. Rejections......well I also have a pile of them.Your comments have given me an idea about blogging such info, I will think about that. Thanks for mentioning me and adding links. I have reciprocated in my "links" page. My artist statement (I think) is a bit pretentious, but then I do create work from a head can of mingled worms. Did you notice my link to "My personal journey….How art helps beat back the darkness"? Well there’s a hornets nest for you.
    Bye for now

  3. I love your real artist statement, it is exactly home I feel and how I would spend any money I make. I have never had a rejection letter as I have never had the nerve to put my art work up for scrutiny so well done for having the confidence to know your Art work is good and not chicken out as I always do x