Turning Archive 2005

REJECTION..too long

Keith Tompkins
>Molly started a post about rejection that ties in directly with a previous post of mine about setting goals. Sometimes we set goals, such as entering a juried show, and the results are not the ones we expect. And I can tell you, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts for a long time. Some people will tell you it doesn't pay to dream, to put yourself on the line....it's just not worth it.

Here are two of my failure and success stories: I entered the "Put a Lid on It" exhibit with two pieces... I was SURE one of them would make the exhibit. NO DOUBT in my mind. Neither one did. In fact the rejection letter was a bit insulting, in my opinion. "The exhibit includes the state of the art in wood turning", if I may paraphrase. My work was not considered to be of that caliber. It then went on to explain WHERE I could actually view such masterpieces if I so chose.

Was this a disaster? At first I was crushed. I had my heart set on being in that exhibit. It didn't turn out so badly in the end...one of the rejected pieces was published in "500 Wooden Bowls", the other ended up in "Small Treasures" exhibit by del Mano Gallery. Lesson: one person's opinion is just that...their opinion. And,it could be wrong.

Next failure: I showed a new piece at a regional symposium. I was excited about receiving a critique at the instant gallery....I was confident. The critiquers (?) were two BIG name turners. BIG. One of my pieces was critiqued, but nothing on the piece I was expecting. It was passed over. I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach. (I should know all about being beat up...I was the skinniest kid in school with the biggest nose)

I gotta tell you, it ruined my day. And, I had two demos to do after the critique. Another disaster? Nope! That same piece ended up winning the Niche award, and will be featured in the Niche magazine. That piece has all ready been published in two magazines. And,It will appear in the next issue of the American Woodturner. It will also appear in Fine Woodworking, I learned today. I have also been asked to submit photos for other magazines as well. Maybe those two critiquer's were wrong, too.

I have been offered several thousand dollars for this piece, and I accepted the offer from a well-known art collector.

Bragging? No, not at all. This is what may happen when you do your best, and put your heart into whatever you do....and then take a chance on yourself. Sometimes you lose, but sometimes you win. This time Molly lost.....I bet she won't next time!

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