On submitting applications and dealing with failure
When the moment comes of releasing your work into the world, in this case through an application for an opportunity such as a competition or exhibition, a small amount of adrenaline fills your body, enough for you to click send, but it does not hold you enough to prevent doubt sinking into your mind, until you realise your fate is no longer in your hands. If you have made your very best effort towards the information (through images and statements) you have sent, then you really can admit to yourself that you tried your best. More often than not, attempts such as these will be unsuccessful,and you will find yourself reading the age-old statement “I am sorry to inform you that …”. Those words are enough to warrant refusal to initially read the rest of the email, whether reason is given or not, and while your efforts this time were unsuccessful, as one door closes, another opens. To dwell on failure would be to the detriment of yourself and your future work, one must consider how they could improve, but not to wallow in the notion of failure. Learning through these failures is the best and most appropriate manor to approach such a situation, when and if the opportunity comes again to reapply, you must apply and apply again, until you are successful. The period of time between receiving a negative response and a successful one presents itself as an opportunity for growth with and through your practice perfecting your artist statement and acknowledging your improvements along the way.
The joy of probability lies in your hands if you apply for as many opportunities as you can without spreading yourself too thin.While chances are still slim, the more applications you apply for the more chance you have of success, at least you are putting yourself in the best position possible and gaining experience through writing and submitting applications.This is especially relevant when you consider how important it would be should there appear the opportunity that you feel best suits your practice. At least you are prepared through past applications for this one you may be more intrigued by and perhaps therefore giving yourself a greater chance than you otherwise would.
Making work is an innately creative and entirely personal process and it can feel like a personal attack when it is unsuccessful. The representation of yourself and all you have come to be thus far has fallen short of the required ideals. Perhaps you were slightly too hopeful, perhaps optimism is a trait you are both grateful for finds you in positions of disappointment. And those are only the reasons for which you are guilty, it would be impossible to gage the discussions had by a panel of judges or the curators of an exhibition. Therefore, it would be impossible to consider how or why you have failed when the perhaps the only reason is that one person was in this moment, better than you. The momentary negativity that results from a failure does not interrupt with your practice and motivation in the long run.Rather, it may inspire within you a feeling of greater inspiration than you have felt previously, and thus give you an opportunity to explore your practice through the hope of a future success. Being open to the possibility of a negative outcome but not dwelling on such a notion prepares yourself to better plan in the future, while also building an innate resilience that leaves you stronger, rather than weaker at an email that initially leaves you disappointed.