Overcoming rejection and moving forward

 

 

So I didn’t get the grant…

 

Today I received the unwelcome news that my application to the grants for arts had been declined.  After successfully being considered in the first place I will admit my optimism was high. However, in reality I should have remained mindful that although my project is of value, it was to a degree of personal value.  This is for many reasons.  The time I have invested in making the work, the time invested in researching the work, the time I have invested in writing the proposal (twelve months to be exact) and the passion I have for the project.  Many thoughts have crossed my mind as to what influenced their decision.   The main, as I was informed, was due to the lack of public interaction.  On reflection I cannot argue with this decision.  Photography is a collaboration with the camera and the perspective of the person making the image.

 

arts

 

To engage with others outside of the project can and does prove problematic. Especially when your focus is based around landscape.  Up until today I am an arts council virgin and remain so. Which is bitter sweet.  Firstly the rejection has made me question whether I am chasing shadows.  Does my project have the integrity and value to continue? Is the work strong enough? Or am I good enough. However, the journey of making the application has refined how I address my project. Why am I making it? The method I choose to make it and further more at what benefit does this project offer to others? I think all photographers and artists come across this dilemma.  And I guess it is how we choose to deal with these demons that defines us as who we are.

 

The images I make I aim to present with the best intent and integrity that is possible with my medium.  I believe the subject matter to be considered, unique and more importantly original (a rarity in the twenty first century) and for this reason alone justified to myself why I should continue.  After all the everyday banal remains so until you present it to the world with a different perspective and at the heart what many of us thrive to achieve.  If my body of work provokes you to question as to why rather than how then I’m on the right road.

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I still love the chase and where it takes me…

In our world rejection will always be present.   Within our own demons and those created when our work has not been selected or not been placed in a competition.  It is good to bear in mind that photography presented as an art form and in general, is subjective to those who view it.

 

If you have the passion and drive and belief in your work then at the very foundation you are a success.  What you choose to do from there on in is defined by you.

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Still making work…

Making work there is neither beginning nor no end.   It is a process of many emotions, lots of research, lots of failure, some success, some speculation, a lot of integrity and most importantly perseverance.

 

Start to believe in yourself and eventually others will believe in you.

 

I’d like to thank all at Metro Imaging for all of your support particularly Steve Macleod who has supported myself and the project from its foundation as has Kate O’Neill.  Steve has produced a lecture regarding such matters on overcoming rejection which I highly recommend.  They feature across the country and worth attending if you ever get the chance.

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One of several large prints made possible by the expert team at Metro Imaging…

Metro Imaging’s web link

 

Whatever you do, keep on keeping on…

 

Mark.

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