happy to be rejected - or how to reap the rewards of a rejection

Thursday, May 21, 2015

reveal "the empty fort" - desperate stratagem; AIR + Whitman + Stockton + Santa Fe + Rancho Santiago + Franklin and Marshall + UC + CSU + CORE = $0

In a recent conversation with an experienced professional friend who read my cover letter, he said, "Your cover letter sounds scary. No community college or small institution that is focused on teaching techniques would give you an interview." "So basically I weed myself out of institutions that can't handle big words," I replied. He cackled. To bolster his assessment, there are other aspects of my personality, pedagogy, and art research that may seem threatening to some folks (I never hesitate to raise issue on matters of race, gender, and other diversity concerns in art), but I hope slinging big words isn't one of them.

The application process for jobs and other art related endeavors can sometimes seem daunting... or most of the time. Each position, event, and institution have specific needs that some overqualified folks are not fit for and some under-qualified folks could prosper within; you can't really know unless you're there and deep in it. I'm of the belief that if things don't work out, then conditions are not fit for growing that particular idea/philosophy. So if I weed myself out of institutions by my earnestness (even by using "big words"), then so be it. My fort is empty for a reason (I'm not telling).

I sling my seeds out there (haha) and hope something sprouts. When they do sprout, I attend to the individual cases and consider whether or not they are worth additional attention (and commit myself to fully cultivate it to fruition). This opens up new possibilities for me; allow me to consider new paths where my predispositions would have previously barred me from seeing. There is no need to worry about the seeds that don't sprout; they add to the fertile soil (and the learning experience). The failures allow me to learn what terrain I don't operate best in, the terrible timing of my sowing, and the techniques I shouldn't use if I need to continue cultivating my ideas. So if there is a patch of land that has an ideal quality that I want my work to take, I do try my best to adapt, evolve, and cultivate my ideas in that terrain. If not, more seed slinging!

Below is a slew of seeds that did not sprout. There are some that I will continue to cultivate in (AIR) and some where my seeds will have to withstand the test of time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

$0 smfa - "make the host and guest exchange roles" - proximate stratagem

Sometimes a seed that seems to be spoiling is in fact taking root in a different direction, such as what happened to me a month ago. I bring to you today a string of email messages that occurred within 24 hours of a rejection letter that was accidentally sent to all the applicants with their email clear-copied. Personal information have been redacted to protect the rejected applicants (except me). And yes, we are on our way to a show next spring. Problems viewing the image below? See it here!

Yes, there is a lottery ticket in there. It yielded $0, but oh the places I'll go with the opportunities that have been created.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

life is peachy - "take the opportunity to pilfer a goat" - enemy dealing stratagem

Sure, there has been a lot of rejections lately (the losses of which I have yet to post), but there have been a lot of grand developments as well. I've been accepted in a couple shows, written about, and have been busy with a few side projects. Life is peachy. Rejection lotto just doesn't have the room to rave about the real rewards.

Something I keep in mind with all these rejections is - ask 10 people to buy something and you'll get nine nos and one yes. My odds aren't that great, but you get the idea. To get that acceptance, there must be a large margin of rejections. I cash in on these rejections by playing the lottery. So although the tone of my posts may sometimes seem dejected and morose, it is anything but! I encourage all my random readers to go out there and reward yourself with a lottery scratchy if you got a rejection. REAP THE REJECTION!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul" - attacking stratagem; wabash + kenyon + towson = $50

It's been awhile since the flood of rejections last month. I cashed in the $10 winnings from last month and got more scratchies. Unfortunately, Towson's rejection letter yielded $0 for this round.

I had a very pleasant in-person interview with Kenyon College this past February during the College Art Association Interview. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the campus interview round, but look at this rejection letter - I'm absolutely in love with it.

I had a campus interview at Wabash College (an all men's college) in March. I met so many pleasant folks and wish I could work there. Unfortunately, I didn't get selected as their new hire (it's hard to compete with a team-taught duo). I'm very appreciative of the fact that I received a phone call to reject me instead of the generic HR email (haha - that was last year's joke). But the awesome thing about Wabash is that I won $50 just on this scratch card.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

ecar + fine arts work center + air gallery + luminary + redwoods + uni. north carolina = $10

This is such an awesome rejection letter that I'm alright with getting $0 for it.

I'm going to call myself Applicant Giang Pham from now on.

I'll contend with Fellowship Applicant as well.

Another $4? What? This is awesome!

This lotto ticket is a little confusing, but so is life.

I'll also take lowercase applicant as a name to call myself.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UNM + EMU + and CCU = $4

This time of year brings multiple rejection whammos. Unfortunately I'm getting more rejection letters than lotto tickets. So here are three in a row that I've been putting off posting.

Score! My first win in awhile. And here I thought life was giving me too many lemons. This is enough for a piece of lemon meringue. ETA: I actually won $4 with this ticket.

I got two rejection letters for this position at two separate times. One that indicates I'm not qualified for the position and then this other one. Now I know they REALLY DON'T WANT ME. At least this isn't as bad as when I got three rejection letters for one position. Also, I will take Applicant as my new first name, along with the much-assumed Mr. Pham being the primary first name.

This email must have been generated in some sort of MailChimp sister software. And what is going on with this lotto ticket?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cash Pot - fees from job applications = $25

As if searching and applying for a job is not work enough, folks in the arts have to pay for portfolio submission fees. The past two applications I submitted came with a fee via Slideroom. You can say that digital applications take out the printing and mailing costs of art job applications, but you've got to wonder why each application submitted via Slideroom for a certain institution needs to have a $15 fee attached to it (would the $15x200=$2100 go to pay for the institution's entire year's worth of Slideroom fees? or to the government pro-rated workstudies that organize the files to present the committee?). Whatever the answer may be, I'm foreseeing a large amount of money being spent this year for applications.

To make it more interesting, I'm starting a Cash Pot that matches the fees I pay for each application. The Cash Pot will be used to buy more scratchies (in case I have a streak of bad luck where the money spent on scratchies are not recuperated).

Cash Pot - Count Up

U Penn - $10
Salisbury U - $15
TOTAL: $25

December 2014
- $8 on new Scratchies

March 2015
- $6 on new Scratchies
Balance: $11