March 15, 2014

Rejection Relief

In an effort towards my goal for 2014, openness, I did something slightly foolish earlier this month. I applied to be a vendor at, what I believe, is one of the best run indie craft markets around, Crafty Supermarket in Cincinnati. Why was this a foolish move? Well, I don't have enough inventory for a show (but getting accepted sure is incentive to MAKE STUFF), I'm not even close to finishing my taxes (which is what I should be concentrating on, not making stuff), and I am such a quintessential introvert that 7 hours of attempting to be "on" during the show itself would be exhausting, if not impossible.

So, it was with a sigh of relief that I read the carefully crafted rejection email this morning. So thoughtfully worded that calling it a rejection is a bit harsh. It reads more like a warm, gentle, coddled let-down.

Intellectually, I understand that some artists and crafters suffer each and every rejection personally. Obviously this is true because there's a plethora of advice out there for artists about how to handle rejection. While I can grasp this intellectually, I just can't comprehend it viscerally. As a photographer, I applied to countless shows and juried competitions. Some accepted my work, most rejected it. That's the way the odds play out. Odds and the personal tastes of the jurors. A tiny fraction of them will like my work, most won't.

I'm the same way. When my friend Albert and I visit a museum, we proceed through each gallery wandering alone, then regroup to talk about the work and pick our favorite piece before moving on to the next gallery. Sometimes we have multiple favorites. Sometimes there is nothing.

This is all part of a larger conversation, if you have thoughts please share them in the comments section. Or, if this kind of stuff is of interest to you, you might want to join the conversation at Dear Medici: exploring how art is presented to the world, a new blog by my friend and photography gallery owner, Roylee Duvall. 

PS The ladies at Crafty Supermarket put together a semi-annual list of indie craft markets in the midwest (and beyond). It is a fantastic resource.

PPS I spotted my first sign of Spring yesterday! Little green shoots, equally spaced in precise lines, pushing up through the groomed soil of one farmer's field.

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