How to handle gallery rejection

When I decided to go to Santa Fe to ask for gallery representation, I quickly realized that Canyon Road was mostly a mecca for Abstract and Contemporary art. My paintings fall in the cracks between semi-abstract and realistic so I approached all of the galleries on Canyon Road, the Railyard District and the Downtown core that were not all Abstract in nature.

So after approaching 75 galleries in Santa Fe and getting 3 nibbles one would think I would be crushed. I have to admit the first few “not interested” were hard to handle but then a flow starts to happen. After my tenth “we’re not looking for any new artists: I started to relax about the entire thing. I had a “spiel” in case I needed it and I must say I used it fairly consistently. What changed was my way of looking at the entire situation. Basically, I changed my attitude. Instead of saying to myself how hard this all was, how I just wasted all this time, money and energy, I simply looked at it as good practice. My personal mantra became “if they think they can sell it, no matter how many artists they have, they will take you on. It’s not personal, it’s business”. I did run into two businesses that were needlessly rude but hey that’s a small statistic.

It’s important to believe in your work and not come into a gallery looking like “a starving artist” and apologetic. Change and adapt your spiel or strategy as you along. Mostly, stay positive and try to have fun with the entire situation. And remember “it’s not personal. It’s business”.

4 Responses to How to handle gallery rejection

  1. Karlie March 8, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    You hold special peclas in our hearts too, more than we can ever show! Just look at these four, they love doing this with you! You have captured and saved a moment in time, one we will have forever! They grow and change so fast, but having these to look back on, will always keep this time in our lives close to our hearts!!!! We love you!!!!!!

  2. Cynthia Langford April 22, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    Well said Teyjah! I know this is a hard learning curve , but your art will not get out there without taking these risks of rejection. your work is unique and beautiful and wish you well

    • Teyjah McAren May 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      What a sweetie you are Cynthia. Thank you so much.

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