What to do when your work is REJECTED.
UPDATE: this was written in 2015 for QuiltCon in 2016, but applies to any rejection from any show. Enjoy.
Like many others today, I received a rejection notice from QuiltCon 2016 that the two quilts I submitted will not be going. This is not my first time being rejected. This is my third rejection from QuiltCon. I’m totally fine with it, but there were times when I was not okay with it. Here’s what I have to say about rejections from shows:
-It’s Okay to be upset. In fact, my first one I had a little cry, then a huge cry, then moped for days on end. Everyone wants to be liked. I know people who can’t survive without being liked. It’s okay. This will pass. Have your cry, eat your ice cream, mope in your jammies, or whatever you feel comfortable doing.
-This is NOT personal. For QuiltCon, there were over 1800 entries. My entries were 1809 and 1817, so there were lots of us. With about 300 spots available, your odds were 1 out of 6 with entering one quilt. Not everyone was going to get in. You are among the majority!
-Try to be happy for your fellow quilters who got In. I know, it stings. It downright fucking blows. How did they get in and I did not? This. Is. Normal. You are allowed to feel that. But please, don’t let it get to you. Be happy for them. And for goodness’ sake, do NOT talk smack about how you think this or that person’s work is crap and you can’t believe they got in, because THAT SHIT GETS BACK TO PEOPLE. Trust me on this, you do NOT want to be that quilter.
-Show us your Reject! Last year when I was rejected I posted on Instgram with the hashtag #quiltconreject. It stirred the pot with bloggers commenting on calling your quilt a reject, but I stand by calling my quilt a reject, because it was. I’m posting my quilts this year with the hashtag, and it’s ok. Let us see that big, beautiful work! We can have a reject quilt con party online.
–Keep entering your work in shows. I cannot stress this enough. I will tell again the story of Betrachtung, the quilt above that was not only rejected for the show it was specifically made for, it was ALSO rejected for this QuiltCon. Betrachtung has been to many shows, I know it’s a good quilt. I took it with me to tape this episode of Quilting Arts TV. See it there on the right?
If it was accepted, it would have not been with me at the taping. Because of that episode, I was asked to do a DVD of the techniques in Betrachtung. Because of that rejection, the work was freed up to go to other shows and it got me to many many new places. So keep entering it into the millions of other shows out there. Google “Fiber Art Calls For Entry.” Your work WILL be accepted somewhere, I promise.
-Rejection notices are how you know you are an artist. J.K. Rowling was rejected many times. ALL the major artists have been. Now you have joined their illustrious ranks! YOU ARE AN ARTIST. Enjoy your rejection, it’s part of the process.
Now, please be kind to yourself, and wear your rejection proudly, you amazing artist, you!