6/17/10

oh well

i knew i would get rejected and i did.  this was my first time ever submitting an art proposal and i have a suspicion there a couple of factors at play.  one can never know i guess unless one barks at the door and asks for an answer, but i think my proposal was probably impassionate, poorly presented and i am not involved in any way with/for/at the university.  i was informed about the opportunity to make this proposal the day the deadline ended as i was dropping gallery invites off at the art department and someone in the office told me about the art proposal and said if i got it in by a certain time she would accept it.  that meant i had a few hours to whip something up;  needless to say i was totally unprepared.  i found it touching that the woman who sent me the rejection letter actually included a handwritten note saying 'this is the first time that someone i know has made a proposal for the gallery.  i really hate to have to send you the 'letter' that the other 70 artists received, so i am adding this little note....etc etc'  (she lives around town and invited me to come by any time i'm in the neighborhood).

for me this was more an exercise.  a stretching of my mind in preparation for an art proposal sometime in the near future, say in houston or some other city.  i let another deadline slip through my fingers because i realize i still do not possess the work or vision that i believe it takes to convince someone that what i am doing is that fascinating.  my redwood assemblages are what i believe could make the cut some day.  not yet. i only have sixty two pieces and i want to propose at least one hundred.  ideally there would be twice that amount of work which i realize will take more than a summer to complete.  the energy isn't there right now for those little pieces, i'm too busy trying to survive and making little things to keep me afloat.  i do still look at my flickr slideshow and see the morphing of those pieces into something other than what they are.  at about #25 there is a shift in the assemblages that continues clear up til the last piece.  i will be curious to see what happens with this body of work. 

as for the rejection, i think i'm relieved.  knowing you aren't quite ready for something is an interesting place to exist.  had i gotten accepted i would have shifted gears and push the pedal to the metal, and that couldv'e been exactly what i needed but it all felt rushed and on the fly ~ not really what i have in mind for my first accepted art proposal. 

16 comments:

Who you callin' housewife? said...

It won't be long until you are ready.

ArtPropelled said...

The first proposal or first anything does feel"ify" doesn't it? Something to do with stepping out of comfort zones as well as not feeling prepared. Like you I am waiting to see what happens to your redwood assemblages. A feeling of bubbly anticipation.

Daphne Enns said...

Having written a few proposals I think that I have discovered that while it's always difficult to write the proposal, there is a difference between feeling passionate about the work that you would like to do for the exhibit and one that you think might be just OK. I haven't applied for much but the one that I was turned down by was the one where I didn't have enough of a strong feeling about. The painting would have been good, but the concept behind it wasn't really as revolutionary.

Eventually, when our names are a "known quantity" we'll get into some shows just because of our name.

Or at least that's what I have seen on occasion.

Tracy said...

ahhhh, sorry about the rejection but look at the bright side; now you are truly a working artist. Can't be one without at least a few rejections under your belt;)

And nothing wrong with going for it, even if you aren't sure that you can manage it. Challenge is good.....

Melody said...

Have to agree with Tracy.. challenge is good although still something I'm trying to run with. On the rejection side... I have enough of those things to wallpaper my studio with...just part of the game

collage whirl said...

You realize, Paula, that it's already HUGE, your knowing that the body of work you want to present is the redwood assemblages. AND you already have one third of your ultimate desired amount done!!
I completely understand what you mean when you say that's not how you pictured getting your first big proposal accepted. It will happen when all the conditions are right. Keep applying!

deb said...

hopefully the writer of the hand written note will help you figure out what you can improve...

Teo said...

Oh, it’s never pleasant to receive a rejection letter (I got some of those when applying for scholarships). Competing with 70 artists should not be easy but each application makes you improve and I’m very sure the moment you will be ready is close. I agree with Deb, it would be good to know more details on why you got rejected so you can improve your proposal.

Cynthia said...

Paula, you know they get a huge amount of proposals and only select a few. You're in very good company!

So now you have that first proposal under your belt and the rest will be easier.

Most of the shows are group shows and they are looking for works that will hang well together, or exist in the same space, so that's another factor. You just never know but you won't get picked if you don't try! Congrats on the first hurdle!

San said...

That you could put the proposal together with such a short deadline, then receive such a dignified rejection, including the hand-written note, means a lot. Like someone else said, you're in great company. And the fact that you consider this a milestone is telling. You are aware of the big picture.

I really enjoyed this thoughtful post, Paula.

paula said...

i agree with what you all say and i know i will feel more passion when i am more confident as the work grows and makes more sense to me. funny how you can be passionate about it one on one but to then whip up some written THING and go on about it ...that takes new skills.
thnaks for all the comments and advice/sorry's and encouragement.

the writer of the note was not the judger but i'm pretty sure it was my lack of direction, small body of work and basically a piss poor proposal I STILL haven't found info or examples of proposals online. i would love to read someone's....

and yeah i've been rejected a fair amound for gallery stuff, if anything a proposal feels less personal for some reason :)

hey san, you actually checked in when i wasn't on a rant!!!!

Renee said...

Hey, at least you had the passion and dedication to submit the proposal in the first place. That's at least a thousand times more than a lot of artists out there have. You'll keep working and creating and one of these times you'll make it.

paula said...

your right renee. i have a feeling proposals aint for lazy people.

Ellen said...

So kind of the mailer to include that note. Great you tried, if nothing else, it helps you think clearer and stronger of your direction. Talking about your work is a)nerve wracking b)completely necessary. I find myself more drawn to see shows that have a clear, articulate concept. It may not make the work better but it helps entice people to the show over simply - here's an artist, this is what they do.(unless, like Daphne said, they're celebrity artists). You should be proud of submitting the proposal. My motto lately: try, fail again, try, fail better:)

paula said...

ya think? i dont feel proud. dont feel anything i guess i didn't really care. guess i'm not ready or maybe not that kind of artist. i dont feel like an artist right now. i feel like a varmint trying to live.

Jeana Marie said...

Sorry it didn't work out but glad you feel right about it. Have enjoyed catching up here :)