Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some Happy Rejections


A few weeks ago I sent out nine little portfolios to different children's trade book publishers, as  I've been itching to do some illustration work.  Yesterday I heard back from three different publishers.  The design team at a California- based publishing company sent back a form letter saying that they will contact me if an appropriate project arises.  So yay, that's a kind of acceptance.  A sort of, "thanks, we'll keep you in mind." But what truly flattered me (and I know that I'm kind of an oddball here) were the two rejection letters.  

First, let me just say that whenever I send out an application for any sort of art or art teaching related opportunity, I always expect rejection.  That's not to say that I lack confidence--to be honest, I REALLY love my own work.  It's true, even if I'm tacky to admit it.  But the self-indulgent loveliness of making art that moves and tickles one's own self (and hopefully others too, of course) can be pretty far removed from most of the business and administrative side of things.  Especially when one is going for long shots.  Rejection is merely par for the course.  When I send out a portfolio for consideration, I like to imagine a kind of Dickensian scene upon its reception.  Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the scene unfolds as follows: a group of heartless oligarchs peer at the return address on my envelope and bellow, "Kaetlyn who?!  Never heard of her!"  Laughing raucously, (depicted with jolting and grotesquely close-up cinematography) they toss the unopened envelope into the incinerator.  

So imagine how surprised I was to receive very kind and complimentary handwritten rejection notes from two art directors, one of which even contained constructive feedback!  Namely that my work seems better suited to adult subjects and editorial work.  So there's something else to look into.  A nice next step for me to take.  I celebrated with my first raspberry smoothie of the season. :)