Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Thoughts - Handling Rejection

Turquoise nugget bracelet
Being rejected is no big deal, right?  WRONG!  You may remember my post last year about a local arts event called Craft Lake City.  It was pretty intimidating to apply to be part of it.  Because it's a juried event, you really make yourself vulnerable by putting your best foot forward and letting them judge whether or not you're worthy to be included.  Nearly 300 artists applied and the lineup was announced on Tuesday. As scared as we were about being judged, we knew this would be a wonderful and unique opportunity if we were accepted.

Craft Lake City decided to make their announcement on Twitter and soon there were 182 groups of artists who were very happy and another hundred or so like me whose hearts sunk. It's hard not to take the rejection personally, especially when we had our hearts set on being at Craft Lake City this year. I'm sharing the following excerpt from the official rejection letter to give my fellow artisans an idea of how to turn things around:
If you are curious why you may have been declined, some of those reasons include: poor pictures, not enough information, too many other crafters in the same category doing similar work and the work represented in your application not fitting with the Craft Lake City vision of innovative and often edgy handmade work and wares of craftspeople, artists, and designers.

If you want to learn more about Craft Lake City and what the judges were looking for please visit our website at www.craftlakecity.com/artists and scroll through the artist section.
 Because I'm confidant that our items aren't similar to others in the same category, I tried to focus on other things.  We've tried to do a modern twist on Native American arts and crafts as well as tatting.  The items in our shop bear no resemblance to what you would find in a museum. Are we not edgy and innovative enough?

The other things I have to consider are that my description of our work was lacking and/or that our pictures weren't good enough. I admit that I need to spend more time working on a really good description of our work.  It's hard to make it sound "sexy" enough.  Photos...photos...I keep trying.  My photos have definitely improved, but I guess they don't compare well to the artists who were selected.  My husband gave me a nice little camera for Mother's Day, but it has some serious issues with focusing.  Time to grab a different camera!

So....how to handle rejection?  I'm definitely not your role model.  I cried and let it ruin my day (which was already going badly).  The feelings may take some time to fade, but it will definitely motivate me to improve.  On the positive side, we did get accepted for the Wasatch Front Farmers Market and will be setting up there this Sunday.  We were supposed to be there last week, but we got rained out.  Wish us luck!

6 mad comments:

Steampunk Funk said...

Awww...that stinks. Rejection is something we all have to learn to accept at times, I can't even keep count how many times I have been rejected. My coping tactic is to pull out a glass of red wine and plot my next plan of action. Wine (and chocolate) helps everything :)

Karen T said...

I'm not sure it ever gets easier. My coping tactic is Diet Coke and chocolate. Thanks for the sympathy!

Bri's Bits said...

well, I am not trying to be mean to the other artists, but have you browsed through many of the entries and looked at their web sites? a lot of their things are simply upcycled stuff, and some of it is well, imo, your things are much better and higher quality. I personally like your product better. there are some very nice things being presented in there, some unique hand made jewelry etc, but some of it imo, isn't that prestigious... and you have absolutely nothing to worry about. All things are done for a reason, this simply wasn't the genre for your work, and it was meant to be seen somewhere else by someone else at this time, no worries :X I know this doesn't make the rejection easier, but believe me, you do excellent work :)

Karen T said...

Bri, you definitely made me feel better. Who knows what that particular panel of judges was looking for.

Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder said...

I hate rejection. I take it so personally, but there are so many opportunities that it really is such a waste of my tear's time. Hope the Farmers Market went well.

Karen T said...

We didn't sell a lot at the Farmers Market, but we did have fun. I even met another rejected artisan and we think that it's just near impossible to get into CLC for jewelry sellers. They probably reached their limit on jewelry very quickly.

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