Showing Your Work: more about rejection

June 20, 2019
In Search of True North  © 2004, 9" x 12"  David Walker

In Search of True North
© 2004, 9″ x 12″
David Walker

“For me, my artwork is the spiritual expression of who I really am and what I really believe. I only need to read over my artist’s statement to refocus upon this truth. My statement has always contained the essence of why I make art and why it is so important in my life. My artwork cannot be rejected by anyone unless I give them the power to reject it. I can listen to what others have to say, and I can learn and make changes, but I don’t have to be destroyed by their rejection of my honest effort. Others might consider this assertive confidence as egotistical and self-serving, but I don’t see it that way. If my creative expression has been the result of an honest effort to visually communicate an idea or feeling and if I feel that it successfully speaks to me, then I must conclude that the resulting self-approval should be viewed as healthy and life affirming.”

David Walker

I encourage you to read his whole article here.

In the Shadow of the Cathedral 2013   20 x 33 Terry Grant

In the Shadow of the Cathedral
2013 20 x 33
Terry Grant


“Rejection is always a little setback, but learning to deal with it is really so important to moving forward with your art and, as Lyric said, letting go. So many factors go into choosing work for a show, that the reason could be almost anything, and nothing you could have anticipated, nor even what the juror may have anticipated. Could be that most of the entries were in a related color pallette and your totally unrelated piece died alongside them, or any other unexpected development. It could also be the case that your piece was not your best work and just didn’t hold its own with the rest of the show. It is always good to reevaluate a rejected work, not necessarily to find fault, but to spot its weaknesses if they are there. It doesn’t do you any good to simply assume the juror just didn’t know good work when they saw it!”

Terry Grant

She also wrote a lovely post about the topic here.

Other essays in this series

Showing Your Work

Showing Your Work: motivation

Showing Your Work: choose your audience

Showing Your Work: choosing venues

Showing Your Work: fine craft shows

Showing Your Work: traveling trunk show

Showing Your Work: a museum experience

Showing Your Work: local venues

Showing Your Work: photographing your art

Showing Your Work: organizing entries

Showing Your Work: judged vs. juried

Showing Your Work: the jury process

Showing Your Work: rejection

Showing Your Work: more about rejection

Showing Your Work: shipping your artwork

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Patti Maxwell
    June 23, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for the great posts about rejection. John and I submitted a hymn for our church’s new hymnbook. Even though I’m not expecting to be selected for the 20-40 slots from the 10,000 submissions, it was great to be reminded of the worth of the creative process in and of itself.

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