"Grumbacher Girl" pastel by Robin Maria Pedrero
Yesterday I wore my tone ups as they are cushy to walk in all day, as one of 3 judges for a festival. It gives me a refreshing perspective to wear both the shoes of being the judge and the judged. The process and results are subjective. It was a very interesting festival to judge as the diversity was beyond belief, fabulous items. How does one compare a painting to a rum cake? Yes, there was hot sauce, sculpture, jewelry, textiles, fine art, flowers, soaps, fine crafts, traditional, folk, contemporary, seasoned exhibitors and newbies. There were no categories in the given award system to compare so each were competing to win. I made a point to introduce myself to over 200 exhibitors and looked at everyone’s wares. These people worked hard and deserved to be recognized and acknowledged. Some artisans were not even aware there would be judging, while some were a bit anxious, and others went into a full sales pitch. In group judging the team comes together and shares their top selections. Some selections are all in alignment unanimous while others require discussion and more viewing and compromise, just like you see on Bravo, American Idol or any awards show. Sometimes your selection gets outvoted and the artisan has no idea they were even in consideration in the selection process. One artisan was openly distraught asking questions many of us lose sleep over “Just what are the judges looking for? Can you tell me?" Quality, design, style, uniqueness, skill,value, message, and taste are general answers. I’ve asked those same questions in regard to entering my own work, in fact at the close of last year I had suffered various rejections, as I’ve shared in previous posts but if you don’t play you can’t win or be seen. When winning, competition is oh so rewarding, financially, with bragging rights, and validation. When not on the winner’s list, especially as sensitive creatives who connect the creations with self, the ego suffers rejection. Throw in a little aggravation over the financial investment and resentment over other details and discontent can snowball. We must be careful not to fall into despair, self-pity, or fear as this can disable us and affect future opportunities. We simply need to give ourselves time and space to heal from a disappointment, brush it off and step forward. Just a few words from someone who’s recently been in both shoes.
A piece of work from my collection ...Could you guess the above piece was both rejected numerous times but also won best of show and other placement awards?