How To Handle Rejection As An Artist

When your Artwork isn’t received well- it's not a call to surrender, rather an invitation to investigate & improve.

The value of criticism is challenging to unpack- it can seem like a personal attack despite even the best of intentions.

Days, weeks, & months are spent creating in isolation- only to find a grant, gallery or exhibition responds with cold rejection.

Putting yourself and your work out into the world feels incredibly vulnerable- judgements are hard to accept when it comes to something so intimate. That, however, is the risk we take as Artists- we're here to express something real to our audience- and we do that more effectively with the help of honest feedback.


Successful Artists, writers, and performers learn to embrace rejection.

Successful Artists, writers, and performers learn to embrace rejection. Understanding the value of a good critique can, and should, make you better.

As our careers evolve- we actually begin seeking out the critical eye in addition to accolades. Engaging in respectful dialogue around what is and isn’t working in your practice builds perseverance and clarity. The more we know about how others view our work, the better.

Don’t surrender- try to remain open to and curious about your audience.


When rejection happens

  • Get curious, keep an open mind
  • Respectfully ask the critic why
  • Consider editing your body of work
  • Submit work again at a later date

The Benefits Of Rejection

  • New information coming in
  • Discovering the weak links
  • Building resilience
  • Knowing which opportunities are a good fit for you & when to circle back

How To Improve

  • Join a critique group
  • Upgrade your materials & displays
  • Take a writing class
  • Research the jury before you apply
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