Saturday, May 2, 2015

Competition and Rejection

If you are familiar with Sherri Lynn Woods's work you know she is an improv quilter. I love her work and consider my style of quilting improv as well. So, when she posted on her blog that she was writing a book and had an open call for people to submit test quilts to be included based on "scores" I thought, 'why not?' This was my first competition. I thought I followed the "score" and was happy with my quilt. I did not make it into the book. I was really disappointed.

I still thought my quilt was rather nice and hung it on my office wall. I have received compliments on it, which always makes my day, and am particularly happy when a member of the faculty compliments the quilt because they are all successful artists that show their work in galleries. The thing that really perturbed me though was the rules and regulations about where I can show my quilt and who got credit for the design of my quilt that came with the rejection. I felt the direction (score) for the design of my quilt was so open and basically asking me to design my quilt, that the request to give the author credit for the design if I showed the quilt publicly or entered it in any competition was not fair. I was also asked to not post a photo of the quilt on my blog, even though it was not accepted to be included in the book, until the book was released. I also thought that was unfair since the author really had no rights on my quilt as it was rejected. Whether I was right or wrong about thinking these rules were unfair, (because I don't understand the world of publishing) that was the focus of my hurt for being rejected. That way I did not have to deal with the fact that my work was not good enough to make it into the book.

Now, a year later, the book is out. I received an email that the blog tour is beginning and it has come up again. It is funny that just yesterday I was going through old blog posts from Chawne on Completely Cauchy (see sidebar) and started reading posts on rejection. I know if I want to sell my work I will have to deal with a lot of rejection so I better get used to it. From Chawne's blog I was led to Bill Volkening's blog who noted that if you work from the heart you cannot go wrong.

Although I am facing daily rejection now that I am selling my embroidered pieces, I am working from the heart. I love making these pieces. I love stitching by hand. It is different than knitting by hand where I was always trying to knit faster, as if there was some clock I was racing against. With embroidery I love watching the stitch form and really have no other choice than to stitch slowly. Of course I want to sell my work because like it or not I want that validation. I would rather get a compliment on my work than on how I look on a given day. I really like the work that I am making and hope that others out there do too--enough to want to own one.

"Comparison is the thief of joy," a quote from Theodore Roosevelt is my mantra.

I was just looking for Chawne's name to note in this post and in my search saw an embroiderer praised on someone's blog. As soon as I saw the work I knew whose work they copied. All three works shown were copied from two different embroidery artists. This person's work was praised as if it was original. I was upset by this as the one doing the praising obviously has not seen the work of the artists that were copied but I must remember my mantra., and know that with hard work my time will come.

Anyway, here is the quilt that was rejected...


Baci e abbracci