Thursday, 30 May 2013

I've resisted posting anything about my submission to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition because I wanted to see what the final outcome would be. I embarked on this venture with a lot of trepidation as I've never felt my drawing was good enough to enter competitions like this. This feeling was reinforced when the picture framer kept telling me I shouldn't expect to get selected.

I was therefore more than thrilled when I got the letter from the RA to say my drawings had been short-listed. It was the most amazing feeling and I still can't believe it happened. I then had to wait 3 weeks before hearing whether I had been successful. I must admit that although it was an anxious time it was also great to have 3 weeks in which to revel in my achievement of being short-listed. I still didn't think I would get selected but with friends telling me my drawings are great and I should be more positive I started to think that maybe I could be successful, and maybe my life was about to change forever.

I got the letter on 25 May, when I got back from meeting Jane at the RA where she was collecting her paintings. When I saw the letter in the postbox I somehow knew it was a rejection, and sure enough it was. I felt disappointed but not surprised, but by later in the day I had got really down about it. I had that glimmer of hope but it was taken away from me and I spent the evening getting even more down. By the next morning I wanted to find out what others have said about being in this situation and found a number of really helpful and positive blogs which helped turn me around.

I was able to focus again on the fact that I had been short-listed by the RA - an amazing achievement - and came to realise that there is a positive side to being rejected. By submitting my drawings I was taking a major step towards taking my drawing seriously. Artists everywhere get rejected many times and they would never achieve any form of recognition or success if they didn't submit to this and learn to accept it as part of the process.

I'm now feeling much more positive. I've completed a new drawing (of Reuben) and started one of Spike. I'm going to submit some drawings to one or two competitions coming up, knowing that next time rejection wont be such an issue. I'm so grateful to Jane for pushing me into submitting to the RA and determined not to let it stop there. It may be a bit of a cliche, but when Theodore Roosevelt said "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried", he got it right!

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