12/19/07

it isn't about the rejection as much as...

I've been ignored and rejected plenty of times in life. And my art has too. The letter in the previous post upset me mostly because of the succinct curt reply. They say to never listen to the good that someone says about you, because if you are going to do that, then you must also listen to the bad. When the woman who bought my art, who is a very successful artist herself...showing in plenty of places outside of Vermont, told me that my art had that 'thing' and I was going to make it I listened more because of her history and experience. When I was then told to contact a personal friend of hers who had a gallery and that they often showed works of her friends, I thought I had a better chance than had I been a complete stranger. There are no 'big' names at this gallery that I can tell so I thought I had an even better shot.

The form letter below was an insult. To be told that my work wont fit in with the direction of the gallery is not something that elicits understanding or learning. I don't feel like pestering this person as to the real why. I don't want anything to do with someone that can't even be bothered to show any courtesy or warmth. What bothers me the most is that this feels indicative as to what is out there in the pompous world of art galleries. I lucked out the that gallery I am in in Stowe isn't like that, if they don't like something they tell me why. Were they not willing to share I wouldn't have made it in I'm sure; after hearing what they did and didn't like about my early works allowed me to alter things and I actually learned more about making technically better work. I know a gallery isn't going to like everything you do and it is my decision as to how much I want to alter things in order to get in.

Were it not for the fact that a good amount of what I have sold to date has been purchased by bonafide collectors, I would probably chuck it all. So. It isn't about the rejection this week as much as me dreading this sort of thing over and over and over. I don't enjoy snooty people, I don't enjoy playing the game, I don't enjoy superiority. I don't enjoy people speaking in code. I don't know what shape to be in order to make myself fit in somewhere. You would think by now that I would have a mechanism for dealing with people who aren't real. I do not. Which is probably why I have a hard time with most people.

6 comments:

Daphne said...

I don't know what to say about you not making art for a while. I guess there is no point if it isn't working for you right now. It will be there waiting until you're ready again.

I always assume that rejection is personal or that people "in the know" don't like me or my work if they don't say anything.

Here are two things that I need to remember: I once got a phone call from an THE architectural firm in the city to tell me that "none of the candidates (including me) had what they were looking for. I found out a few months later from a woman that had been working there at the time, that they really wanted me but were nervous about my disability and getting up and down the stairs there. So why did they have to tell me that I didn't have what they wanted? It was cruel.

It seemed similar to the letter that you just got, and perhaps it wasn't the truth either.

Secondly, I ran into a freelance curator at a show that I was in this year. She walked up and pointed to my work and asked if it was mine and then asked how many hours of work I did a week and if my children were in daycare. I answered her but felt intimidated.

In the end I thought that she didn't approve of how much I was working. I told another artist that story recently and she said that the curator was probably amazed with how much I was doing...

It never occurred to me that she could have been thinking anything positive about me.

I'll just end with wishes for a happier, more satisfying and financially healthy new year for you.

Bob Johnson said...

Rejection form reply letters are very curt, to the point by nature, the hard part is not taking them personal. Whenever I get feeling rejected, I play video games or guitar, I'm quite good at Guitar Hero.:))

kate said...

Why not talk to your friend and tell her about this? It was her idea that you'd fit in with this gallery.

I wish there was a way that you could just create art and not worry about trying to sell it? Trying to do both the creating and the marketing is tough.

Deb said...

Heck. I would get in touch with the gal who suggested you contact the gallery and ask her if she could find out what the "problem" (can't think of a better word) could be? It sounds like to me the gallery just went to your site, spent 5 seconds, and left. I HATE form rejections, but they are here to stay so we may as well learn to live with them. I have some work in a local gallery that has been there a year and NONE of it has sold. I'm just waiting for the owner to call me and tell me I'm "out." This is a tough business. Maybe if I changed my prices to match some of the "biggies," it would sell. Who the hell knows? Don't you just HATE the whole game-playing thing?

Deb

self taught artist said...

hey deb, i really think it has more to do with not loving the options...this just signifies a whole territory of what there is to look forward in the game. gotta figure out how to enjoy the process or dont do it i guess eh?

Oswegan said...

Rejection sucks.