The Art of Rejection (And a Free Webinar)

A friend of mine named Ryan Hill recently entered some of his artwork into a local competition, where the winning works are displayed at our annual town fair and horse show. One of my favorite things about this fair is browsing the display area with the fine art, the most delicious and perfect pies and jams, and the largest pumpkins and tomatoes. Of course, I also love to walk through the farm section where the town’s best cows, horses, and chickens are proudly displayed. You wouldn’t believe how many breeds of chickens there are! And, I wouldn’t be giving a full report if I left out the fact that I’ve entered my own dog, Cowgirl, in the annual dog obedience contest (she’s won first place for her beauty and brains, in case you’re wondering!).

A Clockwork Orange Town (photo) by Ryan Hill

A Clockwork Orange Town (photo) by Ryan Hill

This year, Ryan won in several categories for his fine art photography, but was stumped as to why the judges always seem to reject one particular subject in which he enters his work–floral. Not being familiar with this competition’s rules or judges, my only advice to him was that art is subjective, and that what truly matters is that he’s making himself happy. The truth is that we all experience rejection at some point. I remember submitting poetry to a literary publication many moons ago, and when I received a rejection letter, I read it several times and proudly kept it. It was proof that I was not only writing, but that I was also trying to get published and taking myself seriously. I did something, even if that something didn’t fit within the parameters of someone else’s ideas at that time.

Green Vase (watercolor, 30x11) by Soon Warren

Green Vase (watercolor, 30×11) by Soon Warren

In 2004, Soon Warren, an accomplished artist whom I’ve featured in previous art blogs, entered an art competition and had her work accepted for publication in Splash 8: The Best of Watercolor. That initial accomplishment opened the door to the featuring of her work in Watercolor Artist and The Artist’s Magazine, the production of several instructional DVDs with, and the authoring of two books published by North Light Books. View this free online webinar titled Splash: How to Submit Your Best Work and Get Published, with Soon and Splash editor Rachel Rubin Wolf. Listen as education manager Jennifer Lepore interviews Rachel about the Splash series, which began in 1991. Then Soon will discuss how entering this competition has grown her career.

And to make it even more worth your time, Rachel will give her advice for entering art competitions. Because we all love visuals, she’ll share several paintings that either made the cut or were rejected–and explain why, giving you an insider’s edge. Click here to view this free online event–it will be an hour well spent!

“See” you at the webinar,

P.S. Watch this interview by Jennifer Lepore with Soon–exclusively from!


Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!



You may also like these articles: