Dear Artist, We Regret to Tell You


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self-published by Dana Stirling

This is a handmade book. Every new copy creation takes time. Please expect the book will be shipped in a week since the order placed.

This book is not what we used to see on The Phooks. This is not a photobook at all and you won’t find a single photo inside. But we cannot ignore this work because the story it tells is so close to each of us — those who have published some photography works at least once, submitted for contests or awards and were rejected.

Dana has made many attempts and got many rejections which led her to the idea of this project and, moreover, formed its basis. We admire such positive attitude and wish you all to have the same.

Dana about her project:

Over the last few years, I have been sending my work to different websites, grants, publications, competitions, exhibitions and more.
Alongside some great opportunities and success, I encountered a lot of rejection. After a period of several months of rejection after rejection, I started to doubt myself and my work. I was on the bus, on my way back home. I was thinking about this for few months that were filled with rejections. I was speaking to my husband (Yoav Friedlander, also an artist) about my idea to make something out of all of these rejection letters that I had in my inbox.
It started as kind of a joke – about making art out of rejection, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to do it. I went and looked back at all the emails I’ve sent over the years – and started to flag some of the letters. Many letters I couldn’t use, as they never responded (which is also a form of rejection, yet not one I could have worked with). What people don’t know is that the book might “only” have 13 letters, but in fact, I sent submissions to over 300 places in the last few years.
I decided to use wall paint swatch colors from Home Depot, first because they are free and easy to get, but also because they hold so much potential in them- The color swatches are titled with promises, some kind of hidden dreams painted with different shades and unique colors.
These rejection letters are all the same, none of them are unique, special or more important. The fan format allows you to look at them in no real order, you see them all at once. The fan allows a flow, a different kind of read. I liked the idea that they are all connected in one place – a small grounded place – what keeps it all together from falling apart I wanted to make something that I could look at and not only be inspired by it, but will make me happy.
This book was not made out of anger towards the rejecting places, but more from a place of self-doubt and trying to reclaim my artists’ passion. After I made it, I sent it, as a reply to the original rejection letter, to all the places I used in my Book – wanting to share this with them, inform them and just to see their reaction. Some places never responded, but the places that did respond loved it and actually thanks me which was crazy by itself. The reaction I got online from people was mostly really amazing.
Weight 0,3 kg


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