Friday, October 12, 2018

Productivity in the Studio Part 6


Rejection is just part of the job.  Simply put, the more proposals or applications you put out, on balance, some will be picked up and rejections will matter less.  When you have established the right venues/audience the balance of rejection to acceptance will shift.  Will it ever be more yes than no?  For most of us, probably not.  Competition is fierce and we just have to learn how to work with it and improve our skills and thicken our skins.

Let me give you some context: 20 years ago, when applications were paper, slides and self-addressed envelopes, my success rate grew to about 50%.  I took 10 years off to run a gallery.  Now applications and proposals are almost all online, making it easier for artists to compete...more artists are participating now.  My success rate runs about 10% now and I am happy with that.

I also look at rejections as opportunities to learn.  Was it the wrong venue, wrong juror, wrong part of the country?   If there was feedback, what did it indicate about my proposal?  What did they not understand? Read your proposal documents aloud, preferably to another person.   Do the words flow?  do they make sense?How do I need to change my proposal documents in light of my new understanding?

Does it sometimes suck?  You bethcha'!  Sometimes it feels like "Nobody loves me; everybody hates me; I guess I'll go eat worms!"  I just came off a several month stretch of rejections...lots of suddenly be picked up for 3 opportunities. Persistence pays off eventually.

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