Thursday, June 18, 2015

REJECTION - A WAY OF LIFE ...


As an illustrator (or any kind of artist for that matter) one needs to develop some sort of "thick skin." I find this ironic in that, for the most part, artists are some of the MOST sensitive people that I know. I think that is part of the reason we are artists.


Rejection is no stranger to this lifestyle, that's for sure. I am almost used to sending sample after sample out and nothing ever coming back in return. It is better, for me, this way. I actually forget about the whole sordid affair. It is when I get "the letter" that I go through the psychological obstacle course. I shall explain --

I find that when I get an email proclaiming "ARTISTS ANNOUNCED" that it means I am IN. I get that little volt of electricity run up my spine and I can't click "open" fast enough. Yet, there is always that exception: the letter that says, "We are sorry to inform you ..."

Daniel Grant from the HUFFINGTON POST put it well when he stated:
A lot of meaning is imputed to what is often a form letter: the art isn't good; the artist is a bad artist; the artist is an idiot for having submitted artwork in the first place; the person who sent the letter is stupid and biased; that person expressed the considered opinion of the entire world.  HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE HERE

Any professional artist will tell you that rejection is just "part of life." And that it is ok. And it is! I believe it is human nature, however, to feel like one has been kicked in the shin. Even if it isn't as traumatic or painful, you still feel SOMETHING.



As a late bloomer I not only go through the run-of-the-mill, "OH MY GOD I'M A HACK" thing, I also feel like I am aging at the speed of light and something HAS TO HAPPEN SOON. I say all of this to share that I got a few emails yesterday. You would think the cosmos would at least space them out a bit ... but no.

THE LETTER
The judges were very impressed by the quality of work submitted this year.
(OMG! OMG! OMG! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ... )
Several judges commented on what a difficult task it was to select the final shortlist out of the over 2000 entries we received.
( ... SSSS - OH, SHHHHH ... )
Subsequently it was very competitive to get into the shortlist for the Category Winner awards.
(WELL, CRAP.)
To get through to the next round two out of three judges had to select your work for the shortlist. Unfortunately this year the following entries that you submitted did not receive the two votes needed and were not shortlisted for the Illustration Awards this year.
(Wait - you said, "SEVERAL JUDGES" before - Did I get at least ONE VOTE???)

IN MY CASE: "*WHEW* IT ISN'T THE STUDENT LOAN FOLKS!"

My advice to those receiving the seemingly thousands of "those letters" is:
  1. DO NOT - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE - GO ONLINE TO LOOK AT OTHER ARTISTS' WORK. (Not today, anyway. Eat ice cream instead).
  2. If you are a "late bloomer" and older as I am - do something utterly ridiculous. I say this because I have learned that the older I get, the crazier I can act and people think it's amusing. This makes me laugh.
  3. It's ok and normal to feel bad for a moment. No one likes rejection. It is NOT ok to sit in a dark closet, rocking back and forth while crying hysterically all the time wondering why you didn't become a Vet Tech, Hair Stylist, Telephone Repairman, Fill In The Blank. (Not that I've ever done this, mind you).
  4. Go art something. 
The truth is you weren't a good "fit" for the project/book/gallery/show/annual. That's what I tell myself. Then I get online and look at all those successful and utterly talented artists that I know (and those I have never met). Then I lock myself in the closet, rock back and forth and cry hysterically and wonder where I would be if I had only stayed on that Grocery Store Cashier career track. Actually I opt to eat ice cream and watch cartoons and try to NOT think about the Grocery Store Cashier career track because that career track was MISERABLE for me. I have so much respect for any kind of cashier now. But I digress ...


SAVING MY EGO ONE PINT AT A TIME


Anyway, the rabbits are calling. I have a comic to draw.
I am most happy about that.
After submitting a minimum of ten cartoons a week, every week, for two straight years, I had little to show for it beyond rejection slips. - ROBERT MANKOFF  

3 comments:

  1. Okay, so it ate my first comment...Take Two:

    Please keep drawing, and never despair! So many of us look forward to your cartoons, and sometimes they are the only bright spot in our day. Thank you for all you do, and pet the bunnies for me ♥

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement! I truly appreciate them. I'm sorry my blog ate your first comment.

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  2. You rock! And you bring joy to many a lurker, like me.
    I don't have the power of a judge, but I do buy your merchandise!
    (Melts back into the shadows to cuddle Mr. Fluffy-nubbins - that's his alias)

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