Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So last week I recieved notification of the deadline for the Society of Illustrator's Original Art Show. I glanced at in nonchalance and it was only recently I realized my reaction. It was the Original Art Show, where the elite children's illustrators are admired and it is an honor just to be accepted. And I did not care.

I should preface this with the fact that in the past I have cared, horribly. Of all the Blue Rose Girl illustrators I am the only one whose work has never been accepted. It has filled me with a mixture of doubt and longing. As much as I brushed off the rejection (the Society just thinks my work is too commercial, it's too niche for them, etc., etc.) it always came down to the inevitable truth. My work was simply just not considered good enough.

This would sting my soul so much that even recieving the deadline notification for the entry would unsettle me. Until now.

Strangely, now I am truly cheerfully indifferent. Suddenly it doesn't seem to matter too much if a society doesn't think I measure up. Maybe due to Robert's death, maybe due to my own growing confidence--regardless of why, I finally feel like I can start casting aside others' judgements and begin embracing my work for what it is. Mine.


Anonymous said...

I'm an illustrator who has been both accepted and rejected for the S of I show, and over the years I've concluded that there is nothing more arbitrary on this earth than whether or not one gets in.

Adding to this feeling is that I once spoke with someone who had judged the show one year, who told me this about the process: the judges don't read the books. Nothing about pacing, page turns, character, etc., is considered. They just look at the pictures.

Don't get me wrong. When they'll have me, I'll go. But the sun don't rise and set on 63rd Street.

Meghan McCarthy said...

I didn't get in for the first two years/books. Then I did. Last year City Hawk didn't get in and Strong Man did. The year before Aliens Are Coming! didn't get in and Steal Back the Mona Lisa! did. I don't know. I was a little puzzled as to why Aliens didn't get in. When I looked at the selections--which is a huge pile of books thrown on a table--I noticed that a lot of the art in the books wasn't very good. Some of it was, of course. It seemed very haphazard.

Grace, keep submitting and you'll get in. Your art isn't worse than anyone else's (in fact I think it's better) and it's not too commercial or too niche or too anything else. It's unique. It's great. And no one else does what you do.

kelmurphy said...

Grace! I felt THE SAME EXACT WAY! 10 books and still never a nod in my direction. I let the publishers decide if the books are to be entered this year. I am done worrying about what the society and others think. I am so glad to have read your post!

Anonymous said...

You just posted my exact thoughts, wow. I stopped entering SI many years ago. It wasn't helpful for my self esteem. But I did cave and entered O for a second time.

You are certainly deserving.

Don T.