Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thank You for Your Rejection....

Anmerkung für meine deutschsprachigen Besucher. Der Artikel wird diesmal wahrscheinlich länger und textlastig werden, da ich auch eine Reihe Besucher aus dem Ausland habe, schreibe ich diesmal den Eintrag von vornerein in englisch. Aber mit Bildern. :) Vielen Dank für das Verständnis. 


Thank you very much for Your rejection. That strikes as odd at first sight, doesn't it? But I mean it in a completly non-sarcastic way. I am honestly thankful that I get a response. Even if it is a rejection.

For those who aren't familiar with my current situation: I am at the moment searching for an art representative to cooperate. Or a publishing house who is searching for an illustrator with my style range. Or any other possible client.

Besides updating my numerous portfolios and posting on the usual social medias like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or this blog, I send my work samples to every possible client. And of course I'll get rejections, which also can be quite discouraging at times. But why am I thankful for a rejection?

The answer is, because at least the agencies, representatives and publishing houses let me know about their decision. I am not the only illustrator who write them during the week, sending in work samples or links to their websites. I am not one of 10 or one of 20... At least according to some illustration agency websites they get around 100 submissions per week. And as we all know, strolling through the countless portfolios, links and worksamples is not the first task of illustration agencies.

A good bunch of the agencies even state on their websites that they won't be able to give a review on every single portfolio or even that they won't answer to every single submission.

The first one is understandable, the second one is sometimes a bit hard, because it leaves to me the question, if my works are so unremarkable that the agencies aren't even bothered to give me a small note. Even if it is a rejection, because in my opinion a rejection is still better than total silence.

It is something that also bothers me with a lot of job offers. They are searching for a freelancer or a new colleague. You write them a job application, of course nothing copy pasted, only a carefully picked together job application for them, like they are the one and only company in the world You would work for. And then.... silence.

I have heard in cases like this, You should write again to prove that you are really, really interested. Okay, okay, not writing again, that's a mistake, I made too. But I thought if the job offerer writes You that they will get back to You soon, it will happen. And I thought, okay. And waited. Obviously a big mistake. So, I will respond again, because writing an application and sending in work samples was not evidence enough for my interest.

And that's why I say thank you for the rejections. Still showing appreciation that I got a response -even a negative one. Showing to the agency that I am fine with their decision, because they let me know about it.

The illustration market is a huge, crowded and complicated one. In my opinion there are just far too many illustrators for the market. And I have already heard from agencies' sides that they have to deal with the changes in the markets and the difficulties finding new clients. And so, where would be the benefit for me if I got into an agency out of pity or what else, and end up as a non-active illustrator?

My guess is that in some cases agencies and illustrators sit in the same boats. Or at least they should be aware about it. I can only write about my point of view as an illustrator struggling with her job. But it would interesting for me to read about experiences from the side of the agencies or publishing houses. I collected some experiences over the years that led to my impressions that agencies aren't sitting in their ivory towers. They have similar struggles like the freelance illustrator. Maybe only in a bigger range because they have to bring together the interests of the clients and of the illustrators.

The other side, why I do my Thank You-sketches is that it shows a major point in my job. Getting creative with the given situation.

 As I have to write some more applications and plan to send out more work samples and portfolios, this series will most likely to be continued.


  1. Hello! Interessanter Post. Fährst du auch zur Frankfurter Buchmesse? Liebe Grüße.

    1. Hei, nicht dieses Jahr. Aber nächstes Jahr fahre ich wieder zur Frankfurter Buchmesse. Liebe Grüße, Sara



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