When “No” is not a rejection

A blackboard with previous text badly erased. The text on it now reads "When 'No' is not a rejection' "

Three “No”s in a row.

Am I disheartened? A little, but here’s the thing.

It's the same as when you make a mistake, you have to choose not to take it personally.

A gently written “No thank you. This work is beautiful, but it’s not for us,” isn’t a rejection of my work, it’s simply a gallerist knowing their market better than I do.

You see, even if I have researched either the website or the physical gallery (preferably both) to see if I think my work might be a good fit, the gallerists know their clients better than I do, and it’s important for both artist and gallery that the work will sell.

“No thank you. This work is beautiful, but it’s not for us” doesn’t mean my black and white prints won’t sell anywhere it’s simply that this particular gallerist knows that the people who buy from them are tending to buy luscious colour-rich work at the moment.

A pro forma, "We’re not taking on new artists at this time. Please check back later,” would be perfectly acceptable, but every single one of the galleries I’ve approached has taken the time to a) look at my submissions and b) write thoughtful and sensitive replies. These make the “No”s even easier to take without taking them to heart.

So, thank you very much to all the busy gallerists who make time to do this. It is much appreciated.


PS if you happen to know a gallery where black and white prints [cough] like mine [cough] will sell, do drop me a line!

Let it go and move on

In the interests of full transparency, I make mistakes. I know. Shocking, isn’t it?

Since there’s no undo button in printing, that little “double-tap” mark could be sitting on the drying rack undermining my confidence in my ability to make any decent prints, ever again.

But I choose (and it is a choice) not to catastrophise and think like that. Instead, I let it go and move on to the next print.

I used to be a perfectionist and believed that it would take years to learn how to let things go…

And then one day I realised that it’s a choice how you react to an event. The event itself has no meaning other than what you’re ascribing to it. Revelation!

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still human: if I’m tired, or hungry, or stressed it’s not always easy to make like a Zen master and let it go, but with practice the little “Oh poo!” followed by a shrug and acceptance becomes your default reaction.

I think what I’m trying to say is, be kind to yourself. Printing is fraught with jeopardy, especially when you’re printing a block with loads of detail on new paper that is stiffer than you’re used to, and that doesn’t fall smoothly.

Let it go and move on, your self confidence will thank you.