So yesterday I submitted 2 paintings for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Exhibition 2011. Now whilst being exciting, it is also quite a strange thing - if you get it fantastic, if you don't well....you have to tell people that your work wasn't selected, which is...quite a downer!
It's been quite a while, well, 9 years to be precise, since I've put myself up for what is the necessary but quite often painful process of putting your work in front of someone and waiting for the thumbs up or down.
Over the summer I put my work in for my first exhibition and I was successful, I haven't been since. When your work isn't selected you try to stay on the upside by telling people that hey it doesn't matter if you don't get picked.....but on the inside when you get a "no" ,for a split second...sometimes a split few minutes, it's absolutely soul-crushing. Then you dust yourself off, say nevermind there's always the next one and move on. But it's difficult not to let that little chip off your confidence slip away, not to return again until you get back a "we're pleased to tell you your work has been selected", when your confidence is restored again.
I would imagine that it is similar to how actors feel, endlessly rocking up to auditions, acting out pieces that they may have spent weeks working on, just to be told "we didn't feel you were right for the part". To have prepare for the next and the next, until one day someone see's their potential.
I will hear on Thursday if I have been successful by going on to the gallery website to see if either or both of the numbers that my work was given are listed. If they are, then I'm in! If not then I'm out. The presence of 1 or 2 numbers on a list will mean unbounded excitement and joy, or for that few minutes, bitter disappoinment.