How to Design what Agents want..?

Do you ever get a block when trying to look at your own work objectively? Feel like you are SO close and involved with your artwork that distancing yourself from it is almost impossible?
Me too.  (Naturally we want everyone to love our art, designs, illustrations unconditionally...!)

So what strategies have I developed for dealing with this?

Well, for me sending samples of designs and illustrations off to agents (and getting rejected!) has been good practise.
You definitely feel rejected if your work is rejected - as really it is a little bit of you.

But you have to just carry on - keep trying.
Rework the designs or try a different combination and send them off again to somewhere else.
I also think reading between the lines is a skill worth developing. I get feedback like
'your work is very creative' followed by something like: but it's not appropriate for our portfolio at present -
And that's the helpful ones!! - I tell myself - ALL feedback is useful - even the straight negative feedback! Just turn the comments round - translate - interpret - dissect

So I need to dissect 'your work is very creative'...
I have interpreted it as this:
Very = too
Creative = all over the place
Which, joined up with not what we want says to me that I will have to develop a more 'together' style that has more clarity and says 'these designs are clearly all by Annie B' - a kind of signature.

Someone I really admire and have watched go through this process over the last five years is Chris Loukes. We were fellow MA students and (with several others) still get together regularly to critique our work. Take a look at this CV to realise that he has got his work into some really great shows and is now an International Artist.

His applications were rejected again and again initially - but with persistence Chris gradually got his video art accepted for exhibitions and prizes and now his work seems to go from one show to the next!
(I tried to embed one of your videos here Chris - but it didn't happen, so here's one of the photographs from your lovely gentle blog)

Which takes us back to the start of this post.
And I suppose I have to admit it tells me I do really know what is required for my artwork to develop appropriately after all. No excuses then!
A bit of constructively critical self-questioning and a long hard look at the evidence will help you to develop as a creative person.

So - come on - let's do it:

1 Send some work off
2 Expect rejection
3 Look at it as constructive feedback
4 Be honest with yourself
5 Do some more work
6 Go back to number 1...

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