It happens to every artist, multiple times throughout their career.
The dreaded rejection letter.
At this point I feel fairly immune to the effects of receiving one. I've trained myself to expect it only because then it doesn't hurt at all -- not to mention that when I get a positive response, it feels that much better, too. But I must admit, it does sting a little bit, no matter how well I train myself otherwise.
In January I sent out maybe a dozen packets to be considered for shows at various galleries. Most were responses to open calls at galleries throughout New York state and New England. I have yet to hear from almost all of them, but yesterday brought my first rejection letter from the batch.
It wasn't a terrible letter; I am gleaning a little hope from it. It said that the gallery welcomed future proposals and that if I had any questions to please feel free to contact them.
And, you know, I think I might, eventually. I'll certainly send out another, more well-thought out packet. Some of the things I know were not quite right with that batch of packets was including images of work that doesn't quite all go together (i.e. I included my collage work and my paintings, both figurative and houses -- confusing, no doubt!), and maybe my cover letter was too long and personal? Probably, knowing how verbose and squishy I can be sometimes. And maybe a shorter form of my resume would be a better choice.
I chalk it up to learning. Making mistakes, taking missteps, but also taking care to not repeat them and move forward. It's OK.
I've got to keep submitting proposals, sending packets, refining my presentation, and most important: making new work.
A Supposed Day Like Any Other, acrylic on canvas, 2009.