We all hate it; despise it and kind of shrink back into our own little bubbles when it happens. We can let it eat at us down to the very core of our soul, or we can embrace it like the bad ass artist we are known to be and learn from it! It can make you stronger.
This past year, 2016, was an adventurous year for me. I have come into my own and have embraced my “artist self” and as my artist and mentor friend calls it, “it has been the year of Deb”. I have had a lot of successful exhibits, publications, and quilts traveling around the United States, but also a few rejections.
The journey took 2 years in the making and is finally paying off. Not in any monetary way, but just in self-gratification that I can call myself an artist now. Although many in my family and artist world have praised me on my work; only after my first real exhibit is when I could finally utter those words, “ I am an artist”.
I wanted to talk just a minute about the rejections. Since I have found “my voice” and I have become to realize that I make art that is self-expression and what I am totally in love with, makes it easier for me when a rejection comes. Take the juried show that just finished – HerStory, my Sally Ride quilt was juried in but Mae Jemison was not. Although she (Mae) didn’t get juried into this show there still is a spot for her within my finished quilts. She will be part of my quilt repertoire I am building for my solo show. She is within a theme.
Before my great year, 2016, I had submitted to quite a few art calls and was not accepted. I decided to change my strategy and “Make art that I love.” Maybe it won’t fit into some art calls, but it’s what I need to do for my artist expression. The art calls that I have been answering are ones that I know I can keep up the theme that I have created just merely 2 years ago.
So with that, here is my rejected Mae Jemison quilt. I know it’s a great piece and it will fit well when my other quilts from the Fly Me to the Moon and HerStory traveling exhibits make it back home. She will have a place. So maybe this will help someone to look at their rejected pieces in a new light as they consider the next call for entry. What theme do you love or want to extend in your solo show?