Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Society of Illustrators Annual #52

I submit to the Society of Illustrators Annual competition every year. And every year, I say, "It's my year."

But every year my rejection letter collection grows. To the left you can see my last four rejections from the past four years. I'm not complaining or whining. It's exceedingly difficult to make the cut: approximately 10% of the 5,000 entries are accepted (and the more "famous" you are, seemingly the easier it is to be accepted, meaning the little guys are often looked over. It's not a bad system, as it keeps the big guys employed and makes us unknowns want to become one of the big guys.)

This year, I've submitted Lion on the Mound (Uncommissioned category), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Advertising), Convincing Mirage (Institutional), and two other Magic cards that are going to be released on Saturday. It's a pretty good sample of my portfolio, and just might catch the jurors' eyes. But to a large extent, getting in relies on luck. Fingers crossed, I'll be adding a letter of acceptance to my door soon.

I also mailed out postcards today to the 50 or so art directors at the major publishing houses. I let them know that my illustration for Brighton Beach Memoirs is hanging on Broadway, and that I would love to work for them, too.

Are any of my illustrator friends submitting anything? John? Jeremy? Kelly? Lars? Cyril?


  1. i wish! i'm not sure i've done anything completely worthy this year unfortunately. when is the deadline? you might persuade me to consider that pinwheel piece i did, and start my own rejection letter collection :)

  2. October 30th. I don't know, I think the rocking chair on the piece of blue cloth has a good chance. I would definitely submit one with multiple textures like that ... they're pretty cool.

  3. i think it was the most recent annual where there was some illustrator had won the gold and he wrote that he had been working successfully for 25 years without the SOI noticing him. after i read that i thought that maybe success doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether SOI publishes you or not. i don't mean that maliciously, i love the annuals and it would totally be amazing to one day get in one. i'm kind of excited that they give out physical rejection letters. we can be like that guy who started a collection of new yorker rejections until they finally printed him. i think he wallpapered a room or something. hah!

    for what it's worth i think your work is really wonderful.