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Dealing With Rejection Without Compromising Your practice.

Its a part of life…

Rejection is a part of life, everyone dreads that cold impersonal email saying ‘Dear applicant, after much consideration we unfortunately will not be able to…’ and you get the gist. Despite the aftermath feelings of discouragement and hurt, it is important not to fall completely into a pit of self-pity and hopelessness and give up altogether! Here are a few things to remember when it comes to facing rejection.


Don’t take it personally…

This is imperative and cannot be stressed enough. If you’ve put effort into pitching a particular project to a publication or organisation, or maybe you’ve put in hours of hard work and concentration into applying for a lengthy open call or even worse, paid way over your budget by submitting in work to expensive photo competitions and you were unsuccessful, despite all of these bummers, don't take it personally! There are a number of reasons why your application was unsuccessful which most likely does not include the person doing the selection process having a personal vendetta against you. Things such as a large number of submissions, your pitch not being needed at the time or maybe your work not matching up to the skill level that they need, are most likely some reasons as to why you were not successful at that present time. It’s about your work, not about you personally (not that this makes things any better) but at least since it is about your work, you simply finding ways to improve or try your luck next time is what you need in order to get that successful email that we all anticipate.


If at first you don't succeed…

Persistence is key! Completely throwing in the towel over a few rejection emails will not get you far! Have a look at the work of those that were selected and ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do better, what did they do that I didn’t?’ And start to implement that into your work. I repeat, implement the positives into your work, do not completely copy someone else style and image-making techniques otherwise then you’ll lose your originality. After some time, try to gather up the necessary strength and continue to apply, perseverance will get you to much further places than quitting ever would.


Try to have a positive attitude!

Let’s be real, being rejected can be mentally challenging, however, despite the dark clouds that seem to follow you like a bad omen after not being selected, giving yourself some time recover mentally and then trying to have a positive attitude by being hopeful that your next try will be successful, is definitely one of the antidotes to dealing with rejection. Another big help is having a strong support network or friend that you can confide in if you are feeling low. Having a good friend who is also in your field and can offer honest (but loving) feedback on your work and possible reasons as to why it was not chosen, will also help you in your quest to becoming a better Visual artist and consequently receiving those happy ‘Congratulations!’ Emails that we all hope for.


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