I just entered a third show where I expect my work to be rejected. I entered three pieces from my Totem series. This series is seriously dark and hard to photograph although I had one of the country's best photographers shoot it, and his images match the pieces exactly, but and let's face it, it is different.
I have already been rejected twice, yet this series seems to really grab people when they see it in person. I have one hanging in my living room and everyone who has walked in is drawn to it- unlike some of my other pieces. I have already had several offers to purchase Totem 2 although I am not quite ready to part with it. I have entered it yet again to see what the reaction is, although I suspect I will be getting another thin letter in the mail.
This is bruising to the ego, especially entering shows that I normally get into. I have at least 5 other quilts that I could enter, but I am really interested in getting the Totem pieces shown- so I persevere. I am trying to stay positive. I know that it takes experimentation for me to get anywhere. I like the work, it is good work I think, and I guess I want someone else to like it as well.
I have met with some small successes that keep me moving forward- I have sold a few pieces, and I have been asked to lend one of my pieces to the Artists in Embassies program that is sponsored by the US State Department. So one of my pieces will be traveling to live in the US embassy in Senegal for 3 years. It is an older piece, but one that I like. And the process has been pretty interesting.
But what is it in me that needs affirmation for me to believe that a piece is good? On this day, the day before Yom Kippur I think of all the things I can do better, all the mistakes I have made. And while most of my thinking is other-directed, for myself I wish for more confidence and courage.