Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Confessional #5 - Top 3 Things I've Gotten Rejection Letters From


Isn't this neat? It's a banner image made from my painting, "Bottle". This was put together with 32 other local artists' images by the City of Airdrie, Airdrie Regional Arts Society and Creative Airdie to make an "Artist's Alley" on 1st Avenue. It just got installed and I think it looks fabulous. 

The above is an example of when applying to calls for submissions goes right. It results in acceptance. There is a dark side to this that most artists are familiar with, called rejection. I know for me, I tend to not want to talk about it. Then I realized that most people don't. Or we like to make vague references to rejection in the past but without embarrassing examples. 

I tend to be a high flyer in my applications and rejections. Sometimes I like to apply for things I'm probably not ready for. This usually crushes me a bit afterwards... I'm learning that things that crush me seem to make for good reading so, here goes!

1) Artropolis - some may remember this a HUGE arts event in Vancouver in the 1990's. Very cool, big names, lots of careers started. I being all of 16 or 17 figured it was about time I became famous, so I sent in my portfolio (Remember when you had to send slides! The death of me!) I was completely surprised that they did not find me to be God's gift to the Canadian art world. However, a shout out to the curator.... The handwritten note of encouragement on the bottom of the rejection slip to "keep it up" was a bright light for me.

2) An AFA Grant - the Alberta Foundation of the Arts funds many small and large scale projects throughout the province. I decided a few years ago that I would be a shoe in for an AFA Grant despite the fact that I hadn't settled on pursuing a specific body of work. I had no idea how to apply for this thing (I see that they have since added templates to their site, probably because of people like me asking too many dumb questions). The endorsements I had were impressive, the idea was kinda meh and I think I just overall naively bumbled the application. Maybe another year. 

3) The Kingston Prize - Canada's big prize for portrait work. Again, despite the fact that the big galleries submit masterful examples of their artist's work, I figured I had a shot. Well, no, let's be honest - I figured it couldn't hurt to submit. Never, ever once did I think I would win, my goal was to be a finalist. I actually still have that goal. I will probably keep submitting till either I've reached my peak as a portrait painter or they start feeling sorry for me. I'm good with either! (Coincidentally I submitted the painting featured on that banner above).

In other news, I've actually had some great news of some upcoming work I've gotten by submitting my portfolio. I'll be talking more about it as I get more information. Secrets are almost as fun as confessions!

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