Saturday, February 11, 2012

This was my day.

Today was… non eventful.

I participated in an art competition and I felt a little less than validated.

I’ve worked so hard on my senior portfolio. So hard. Day after day I do my best to produce something that I can be proud of. I picked my two strongest pieces. I had good interviews. I spoke well. I conveyed what I wanted my judges to hear but I fell short.

And it sucked.

After everyone finishes their interviews the judges lay out all of the pieces from different divisions that made 4s (on a scale of 1-4). In a decent sized hallway 500+ people tried to squeeze past each other to view the advancing artwork. I don’t even know how to properly express how I felt when I looked at all the pieces and didn’t see mine on the floor. Every senior in my group that had participated had a piece on the floor. I was the only one that didn’t have one out. At that point I just wanted to be somewhere else. Be someone else. As I slowly merged into the big crowd of people I could hear people asking about me, asking why none of my pieces were on the floor. I couldn’t handle it.

A little part of me was in disbelief. The crowd carried me past all the other division artwork, but I knew that my artwork was not among them. I skillfully dodged people from my school and did two full rounds, taking deep breaths, and thinking that breathing deeply released more endorphins or something. As to whether or not that was actually true I didn’t know. After a minute or so of breathing deeply I ducked into the bathroom, which was thankfully empty and started doing yoga. On the public bathroom floor.

I pulled myself together. I calmed my nerves and told myself that I did well. The judging was subjective. It was random. The opinions of two random people do not validate who I am as an artist.

I stepped outside and made my way out of the crowded hallway and to the tables where a few of my friends were standing by. They had all made fours, and were half jokingly telling me that they would kill my judges because they were idiots.

I tried not to be bitter, saying that it was what it was. Then more questions came from them. Why did this happen? How could your work not make a 4? Who were your judges?

And then the validations. Your work was better than most of the stuff out there! They’re crazy for not giving you a higher score. I don’t understand how that art made it and your’s didn’t.

And I tried to hold it together as the same exact things ran through my mind, but I cracked. My friend Rachel enveloped me into a hug, which turned into a big group hug from all of my friends as I clung to them, silently crying and apologizing to them because my sweater was covered in nasty public bathroom floor germs from when I did yoga trying to calm myself down.

And they just stood there with me and held me.

It's not pleasant to feel inadequate. The fact that my two judges didn’t think I was good enough to advance really stung.

I knew that the judging was bullshit going into the competition, but I brought my top game. I honestly did my best. It wasn’t good enough.

So it goes.

The rest of my day I kept to a close group of three friends who I knew would just let things go--- and I did my best to keep myself from crumpling up into a pitiful ball.

ANYWAYS. That was my day. While at the competition I made a puppy sweater from start to finish. And as soon as I got home I called up a friend who I had previously been upset with, but I needed someone to vent to, someone who would just listen and chill with me. I was nice to have someone just silently be with me.

The puppy wouldn’t stay still enough for me to take a picture of her wearing the sweater :/


  1. I'm sorry...that sounds terrible. Judges for contests like that are seldom unbiased; sometimes they try to fit a certain number of not-4s, and that's ridiculous and crappy.

    On the bright side, you did yoga AND boosted your immune system.

    Seriously though, that sucks. You're not inadequate; your art is excellent!

  2. I'm surprised the puppy even let you get that on her. Anyway though, art is subjective, as long as you like it that is what matters most. It means what you want it to mean and it looks like you want it to look.

  3. Oh honey, I'm sorry the judges were too superficial to see the value in your art! I empathize with you; there is no shittier feeling than seeing someone with a shitty piece break to debate finals and you get cutoff at semis.

    You win some, you lose some, yada yada you know the deal. I'm glad you had such supportive friends around to comfort you.

    I think the adorableness of that puppy sweater is quite fantastic, it definitely put a smile on my face! I Tumbld it with your name as the photo credit, it got 12 likes in an hour :)

  4. Those judges can S my D. You rule.