I can now hold my head high and say I belong to a proud society of artists who've had their work rejected, dejected and dismissed. It happens to the best and it's happened to me.
I am a resilient old goat and can see it with humour now. Admittedly it did sting for the first 48 hours. And so it should. Every artist should hurt when someone rejects their work. If it doesn't hurt, it means you never cared about the piece.
Ruefully, I made this with the person in mind. I made something I thought would please them. I'm a hypocrite! How many times have I read and agreed with the sage advice to make art for yourself and yourself only? Art which you'd have in your home. Art you love.
My regret is that I didn't make the art I should have. I had an idea of an Oscar Wilde shrine, similar to where he is buried in France, where it was covered in kisses, quotes and roses before they fenced it off. But I thought, nah, that wasn't what I was asked to make.
If I was going to feel that arrow of criticism and carry it around for a couple of days, I regret that it wasn't for a piece which I can completely be proud to say is authentically me. I could happily stick two fingers up to anyone who hated my Oscar Wilde idea, knowing I would have enough love in it for all the haters.
However, hand on heart, I can say that I'm strangely pleased with having had this rejected. It shook me out of my complacent shell. It made me look at my art anew, with a critical eye and remind myself to keep at it, keep refining, keep improving and don't always stay in my comfort zone.
I wish I could tell you why it was rejected. I can imagine you're itching to know but I don't have an answer. All I have to go on is that "the standard is not quite as good as I'd like". Which is fair enough. I did ask for feedback but understandably, none came. Telling someone you don't like their work is hard enough. You'd have to have the resilience of an old queen like me too, to give feedback, thinking you're hurting someone's feelings. My critic feels its kinder to say nothing.
So it sits on my shelf, above my computer, as a reminder. A visual smack on the wrists, if you will. It glowers at me. Telling me to always make art for myself and no one else. And I hope to never stray again haha