Rejection Stings

Last month I submitted an application to participate in the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition that occurs in Nathan Phillips Square from July 8-10 this summer. Admittedly it was a looooooooong shot to get in as I haven’t exhibited anywhere before. But why not shoot for the moon, right? Yesterday afternoon I received a lovely rejection e-mail wishing me luck and encouraging me to apply again next year but not before I’d logged into my application and saw the screenshot above. NOT ACCEPTED. Fun times. So what now?


Well, first off it makes me want to work harder on improving my photography and my portfolio to increase my odds next time. Otherwise, let’s look at the facts and the options.

The Facts:

(1) I have five framed photos in my possession (two 11 X 17s and three 8 X 10s) and one 5 X 7″ print that I will frame. I framed and mailed two other 5 X 7s as thank you gifts for participating in a #WeGetOutside Twitter chat I guest-hosted a few weeks ago.

(2) As of right now my summer starts getting crazy around July 16th between weddings and canoe trips I’m guiding.

(3) I’m working on a big writing project that could and should take up a fair amount of my mental space.


The Options:

(1) Apply for Farmer’s Markets that accept artists.

(2) Focus on marketing my online shop until I have more time in the fall to apply to winter shows, to ask around at local cafés, libraries, small businesses to see if they’d be interested in exhibiting some of my work.

(3) Make writing my priority this year. (This option feels a little like asking a parent to choose between her children.)

(4) Sit with all of this for a bit and make a more thought out plan on how to proceed.


I don’t feel rushed to make a decision right at this moment, so I’m not going to.


Chat with me over on Facebook or Twitter: how do you handle (small creative) setbacks (my euphemism for REJECTION!)?

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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