I wrote this post in 2016 and it still applies today. In this week alone I’ve applied for 3 things and been rejected from 2 others so I thought I’d revisit this post from the archives… enjoy!
The start of many a rejection letter…no need to read the rest.
Rejection is hard for everyone but when you are an independent artist, you apply for a lot of things; grants, residencies, teaching opportunities, exhibitions, projects proposals. So by default, you get A LOT of rejection letters. I don’t keep an actual count, but I’d estimate that I’ve received at least 40 since the beginning of this year and I haven’t even heard back from all the things I’ve applied for.
Sometimes you get more than one per week and it’s hard to not let self doubt creep in. Especially when a lot of your time goes into researching, custom formatting photos for each application and not to mention the $15 -$25 application fees can really add up. But as artists, we force ourselves not to wallow in it and we drag our asses back out to the studio and keep making art.
Kim Liao recently wrote an article called “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections A Year”, which discusses the idea of embracing rejection as a goal. The more that you ‘collect’ rejection letters, the more you are applying for, the more practice you get at applying for things, the less you invest in caring about the rejection itself and the odds are you will actually get accepted to a few things too.
While I’ve been rejected from 40+ opportunities to date this year, I’ve also been accepted to at least 10, some of them really amazing, potentially career changing opportunities. The pile of rejection letters next to those few acceptance letters only makes those acceptances even more sweet.
I was so happy to hear that my crate of artwork arrived safely in Mariestad Sweden!
One hurdle accomplished. Yay!
I leave for Sweden today and will be spending the following 10 days assembling and installing two large Umbel Flowers for the Off Season Art Gardening: Humle Park project. I’m so looking forward to meeting the team I’ve been planning with in person and exploring Sweden for the first time.
Hoping that it all comes together as planned and that the artwork looks great installed! Fingers crossed!
I’m excited to announce that I have been given the opportunity by the city of Mariestad Sweden to create a unique permanent sculpture for their Off Season Art Gardening program! I’m working on creating two large Umbel forms that will tower over head in a park setting, these will be built in a similar style to the ones I made for Sculpture IS: exhibit this year (see photo on right). The flower buds for the new sculptures will be a repetition of the shapes of the metal structure and will be glazed in a rich bright red reminiscent of the color used on many of the buildings in Mariestad. I hope that these pops of bright color will contrast against the greens and blues of the natural landscape. This piece will be installed early December, so stay tuned for more photos!
These past few months have been a whirlwind of non-stop exhibits, travel and art making, so I wanted to take a moment to share how grateful I am for everyone that has been on this amazing art adventure with me!
To every single person who took the time to ‘like’ a photo, read a blog post I wrote, share my work with your friends, walk in the door to see my exhibits, donate to my art adventures, or buy a piece of art from me – thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the the pieces of the puzzle that make it possible for me to be an independent artist. Every action of support is recognized. I am humbled and grateful to make a living by the support of all of you.
And there’s more exciting art adventures to come…stay tuned!
This video documents two ephemeral installations I created during my month long artist in residence at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stoovarfjordur Iceland. The first is from my Umbel Series and is based on Angelica flowers which grow native in the landscape of Iceland. The second is from my Bone Series and is based on radiolarian (single cell planktons) skeletal structures that live in all the oceans of the world.
The Fish Factory does interviews with each of their artists on their last week as a way to reflect on their time spent there and how it effected their work. As an artist, when you’re so focused on your work and in your headspace, it can be hard to explain (in a way that makes sense) to the viewer what you’re thinking about and why you’re making what your making. Being forced to verbalize it in a cohesive interview is a great way to gather your thoughts and wrap up this amazing opportunity. Enjoy my interview…