Monday, July 21, 2008

A member of the club

Yesterday, I received my first rejection letter (email):

"It is obvious you have invested a considerable amount of time and energy into your artwork. However, we look carefully at issues such as quality, marketability, and originality which force us to be selective in our publishing decisions. I am sorry to inform you that we are not able to accept you as an illustrator at this time."

I have confused feelings about it. Obviously, I'm bummed. I'm not sure what to make of it - do I just pick myself up, dust myself off, and carry on, or have I been deluding myself in thinking that anyone would want to publish my art. I realize rejection comes with the territory, and that not all rejections are saying that your art bad, sometimes it's just not the right fit, but how do you know? Are the pieces you've worked so hard on, and are proud of, being seen by everyone else as amateur schlock? What I do know, is that I enjoy drawing.

I draw inspiration from a quote by Henry Van Dyke: Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best.

I hope there is a place for me somewhere out there.

5 comments:

bloosgrl said...

Sorry about the rejection letter. I like your artwork and surely, someone else will, too. :)

NANCY LEFKO said...

there is absolutely a place for your art...

I felt the same as you after my first rejection, but got right back on the horse and sent off to another publication (still waiting to hear) and the original publication again, with another piece, and this time they liked it !! so the message is: hang in there, and keep creating....

vanessa said...

Don't you just hate rejection? I've gotten my share as well. Keep doing what you love. I can see the love and care you put into your beautiful illustrations, and just because one company rejects you doesn't mean you don't try the others. It's the nature of the breast really. This is all making for a wonderful story about your journey as a children's book illustrator. You might not feel it right now, but it's going to all worth it when you hold your first illustrated book in your hands and tell people your encouraging story. Be encouraged my friend
V.

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

Hi Michelle,

I just found your blog via a question you posted on the SCWI.

Please don't feel bad about the rejection letter. We are all going to get our good bunch of those during our careers. Don't let that slow you down. I think there is always a place for your art.

About your question on the forum, I think your website is really nice. I love the soft colors they go really well with your illustrations. Is very clean and easy to navigate. I made my own too, is very simple. But i actually am a big fan of simple. :o)

One suggestion I have, and I'm being honest here, I think I would change the piece your have in the home page. It is not one of the strongest in your portfolio. The home page is really important. That is the moment where someone either decides to hit that back bottom or come on in. The illustration is lovely, just I think there is a bit of confusion reading the girl's face. Remember this is just my opinion.

I would choose any of the first 3 images your have in your portfolio. I think the ones with the sisters or girlfriends are really good. You captured a real moment of kids interacting and the palette is beautiful.

Hope this helps a bit. Good luck with your journey!
This turned out a loooong comment :o)

Elise N Black said...

Michelle,
I was just on your daughter's sites and didn't know they were yours!! They are delightful! And you are wonderful to encourage them and post their work!

As for your rejection letter, don't let it discourage you! I even pin them up on my board when I get them, as it serves to motivate me!
As my love told me the other day, " Too bad for them Lassie! One day when you are famous, they will remember, and kick themselves for not giving you a chance first!"
Keep drawing and drawing!
And don't be sad!
Your time will come!!