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.
It’s hard to believe in just a few short months; an application, turned into an acception, a sketch turned into a sculpture and now, I have a permanent public art installation in Mariestad Sweden. I’m so grateful for everyone who had a hand in making this happen. And I really look forward to seeing how this installation will change over the seasons. I’ve been trying to imagine the snow cover first, and then the green leaves coming back to the trees in the background of the sculptures and eventually to 12′ tall hops plants that will be planted and flank the Umbel flowers on either side- lots to look forward too! More pics coming to the installation page soon!
I’m so happy to share that two Lichen Series pieces have found the perfect forever home!
There was a lot of time and contemplation that went into this installation but it was so worth it, they really look perfect in this entry hallway. More pics will be up on the website soon!
About the Lichen Series:
The Lichen Series are vertical stalk shaped structures which have a variety of ceramic lichen inspired pieces emerging from and fused to them. This series play with ideas of death and regrowth, the power of negative space and the contrast of dark and light. These pieces are hand-built and hand-carved from high fired stoneware and each piece is original and unique. There are 7 more available for purchase.
photo credit: Michael Cinque Photography
Yesterday afternoon, my art went out on an adventure! A crate of sculptural parts is on its way to Sweden and I’ll be meeting it on the other side in a few weeks. Fingers crossed that it makes it there ok!
I know I’ve spoken about this before but the pressure of creating installational artwork is always a thrill. I really never know if it will all work out until it has. This installation in Sweden is no exception. I’m shipping all the parts which I hope will arrive ok, then I’m counting on my team in Sweden to help me assemble and install this piece in a place I’ve never been before. I’m also trusting all of my testing and consultations with experts that the clay will be able to survive the winters there. All the moving parts of this project make for a slew of opportunities where everything can go wrong, but that’s all part of the fun!
More to come on this project in a few weeks!
These pieces from the Lichen Series haven’t been shown very much, so if you haven’t seen these pieces in my studio, I finally got some good photos of these three trees and they are up on the website now!
The Lichen Series is about new growth from the old, in these pieces the ceramic lichen forms are growing on California black walnut planks that came from a storm fallen tree. The glazed ceramic pieces are inspired by the structures of shelf fungus and have been placed in compositions that follow and enhance the natural grain of the wood. Read more here…
If you’re interested in purchasing them, please contact JCO’s Art Haus in Los Gatos.
Here’s the monthly wrap up of everything going on at the studio…
November Studio News
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