Last week the two paintings I submitted to the Ventura County Fair were rejected by the jurors. This is nothing new. Artists face rejection all the time, but this one bothered me more than others.
Maybe it’s because Ventura is my hometown, and I like to think I’m accepted here. I know the rejection doesn’t really mean anything, but sometimes it’s hard not to take it personally. It can be difficult to separate myself from my art.
Since then I’ve been thinking about the meaning of rejection. Does it matter if my art is accepted? Is acceptance the reason I’m creating it? Can rejection be seen as positive? It sometimes motivates me to create better work, more daring work, and more exciting work.
Rejection is also a reminder that it doesn’t matter all that much what people think of my art. I create art that’s meaningful to me and that I hope will resonate with others. I’m grateful for all of you who like my art and support my practice, and I’m also OK with those who don’t like my work.
It will be interesting to go to the fair and see what art the jurors did accept!
Here are the two paintings I submitted that were rejected:
“Channeling Van Gogh,” 30 x 40 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
“Spark Joy,” 30 x 30 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
What’s your experience with rejection? I’d enjoy hearing your comments and thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.