Friday, April 04, 2008


"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need." (The Rolling Stones)

Let's face it, rejection hurts. It's hard, upsetting and ego-blasting. All the little whispers that I keep so tightly locked into their little closets start shouting out loud. And I don't like what I hear, things like 'your work's not good enough, you should work harder, better, or stop altogether'. I feel like a failure. I feel sad. I feel like hiding away. I feel alone.

But I know I'm not alone. This week on one of my artist groups, a member shared her story of rejection. Tapestry crochet artist, Carol Ventura ( sent out her art packet and got a rejection letter. Because she's a well known fiber artist with years of experience, she took it in stride. Oh, she wasn't happy but as she pointed out it's part of the process. Sometimes you get accepted and sometimes you get rejected. One feels good, the other doesn't.

As another fiber artist, Bonnie Meltzer ( put it, no one likes to get a rejection letter. It's hard. It hurts. But the important thing is to get back up on that horse again and keep moving. Because the only way to get your work out there is, well, to keep putting your work out there.

Another artist, Julie Goodenough ( wrote in to say that she's going to be teaching a course in how to get your work into juried shows. The funny thing is, both she and her teaching partner had been recently rejected from not one but three separate shows. They wondered if they were qualified to teach this class. And, of course, they are. They have experience with acceptance and rejection. They can pass along the fact that as an artist, you do the best possible presentation you can and then, you wait. Sometimes you get accepted and sometimes you get rejected. The biggest lesson they can teach is that you are not the only one. You are not alone.

Sometimes I can't get into the show that I wanted. But I got back on the horse, stayed open to new opportunities and what'd you know? Yes, just like the song quoted above, I tried and sometimes I find I get what I need.

How has it worked out for you?

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