Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to Handle rejections

Well - just looked up the website at www.rex-livingston.com to see if I made the last 25 of the Mt Eyre Vineyards Art Prize - Unfortunately, no. It's hard to take, especially when I thought I was a "shoe-in" for the final 25 and a possibility for a prize. Well - what does that teach me? Not to be so cocky, sure...but is the Universe trying to steel me for the enormous number of rejections I still have ahead of me?Like many artists who've been practicing for a long time, I'm becoming an expert on handling rejections, so here goes....
How to Handle Rejection
Think of what you have achieved -including getting up and facing an empty canvas every studio day, managing the juggling act; actually painting instead of talking about what you will do when you get around to it! (not easy!);
Look at how your work has improved - if you haven't got an early work/painting at hand, keep one of the current works so you can judge how far you have come for the next rejection! Congratulate yourself on how brave you are to have put your work up there for judgement;
Tell yourself "I'll show them!" and enter another competition - congratulate yourself on your persistence;
Imagine winning this competition next year;
Ring an artist friend and bitch about the hassle of entering Art Prizes; the judges, the host organisation etc - but never the winner (bad kharma!)
Look at other artists who have been rejected from competitions - John Olsen from the Archibald etc - ask anyone...we all have war stories!
Remember that every competition entered and rejected from means you are one step closer to acceptance - and winning! Play the odds.
Read inspirational quotes form artists (see next blog!)Eat Chocolate!

And a short note (in the spirit of prevention is better than cure) on:
When to enter a competition
When you want your name and work to get out to the community;
When you desperately need the money;
Only when you are definitely qualified/overqualified for - so your chances improve and your ego has a chance to bounce back;
Only where you know the judges - and where you think they will like the work. Save yourself the heartache and the costs!
Only when you have an appropriate painting already finished - never paint for the show so the rejection hurts less, and you can just continue in the work that really matters (yours!)Whenever you need to beef out the CV for an upcoming show or because there are huge gaps in it;
When you need to fulfill your masochistic streak.


  1. Good to read your blog after the same rejection experience: thanks Gabrielle! Ingrid

  2. Onward and Upward Ingrid! We are one step closer to acceptance.



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