Rejected Assets – Problem Solved in Seven Steps

An artist might be very happy with revenue from sales but there is one thing that can make an artists un-happy, start to feel anxious and become defensive, that is when an asset is rejected by an agency, the asset is often seen by the artist as needing protecting and the artist may become defensive and not take perspective.

The asset inspectors and websites often become the subject of ill feeling and the target of abuse, by reading comments in forums like  “it’s the inspectors fault”, and “my rejection was overturned”, can lead to the artist using these comments to reinforce their arguments and not to look at their rejected asset more closely, so how are these un-happy feelings dealt with and how could they be dealt with in a more positive way.

There are many thousands of assets rejected daily and a very vey small percentage of these will be overturned, some may be reprocessed and accepted later, others will just never be acceptable to that website and not always on quality, as they are just not needed, there are three ways that these rejections and feeling are dealt with and one of these can possibly reduce the number of rejections by using problem solving skills.  


The site owners and Inspectors do not have a clue, just delete the assets close the account and move on, they will not earn any more money from the artists assets and if the artist is not uploading then they are not getting rejections.

The artist may feel a little better for a short while, but the problem will not be resolved!


The artist can go to whoever will listen, family, friends, the blogs, the forums and tell them all, “the inspectors on that website do not have a clue”, “they rejected one of my assets that is the best seller on several website”, “they would not know a good asset if it jumped up and hit them in the face”

The artist may feel a little better for a short while, but the problem will not be resolved!

Problem Focused

This is the third one and is often not as easy, but the resolution can be much better, there are seven steps in this resolution, I will deal with this in the “I” perspective:

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Stop and Think
  3. Find Information
  4. Generate Options
  5. Choose
  6. Plan
  7. Action
Define the Problem

This is easy, I decide if there is a problem, and then ask where I am and where I want to be.

“Where I am is getting more rejected assets, and where I want to be is getting less rejected assets with a better understanding of why my images are rejected”

Stop and Think

This step just means I do not overreact or take things to a personal level, by firing off an email to the website, posting in the forums, complaining to whoever will listen, it may make me feel a little better in the short term but it does not solve the longer term effects.

Find Information

This will mean me talking to other artists that use the same website, visiting the website looking in the forums and blogs to see if there has been a policy change, I can research other assets on the website, look to see if there are already to many similar assets, are these existing assets of a better quality than mine, do my type of assets sell well on this website, am I spending enough time and effort in preparing my assets, are there other websites where my assets will fit in better, are there some website and tutorials where I can get some critique and improve my workflow.

Generate Options

This one can be fun as I will need to brainstorm, looking to create a list of options, these can be a mixture of serious or silly, I could:

Start my own website, sell my kit and take a holiday, buy new kit, go on a training course, re-evaluate my workflow, find another job, kick the cat, find a new websites, stop uploading and wait, become an inspector, carry on as normal, get someone else to prepare my assets.

I could generate as many options as I want, and some of these I will use in the next step.


Now I have to choose three of the options and look at the possible positives and negatives short and long term, ending up with just the one, the others can be looked at again as new steps each with a problem solving strategy, as much as I like the idea of kicking the cat for short term good feeling, I have chosen the following options.

1. Sell my kit and take a holiday:

Short Term Positives: I get the money to have a holiday, I feel good, I get away from the problems and have a good time.

Longer Tem Negatives: I have to replace the kit or change jobs, I could feel low, and it could cause upset my relationships within the family .

2. Get someone else to prepare my assets.

Short Term Positives: I get the assets prepared quicker, I feel better.

Short Term Negatives: I have to pay for asset preparation.

Long Term Negatives: It will reduce revenue after paying for asset preparation, the feeling that the assets are no longer personal could be a problem, I would have lost control of the workflow, I could end up feeling low.  

3. Re-evaluate my workflow.

Short Term Positives: I start to feel good that I am dealing with the problem.

Short Term Negatives: My ego is dented.

Long Term Positives: I may have more assets accepted, more control of my workflow, I will be a better artist, I should feel better, having a better understanding of the industry requirements and possible higher revenue

Next I have to choose which option to take forward and what information gathered in step  3 is best suited to the choice, I have decided on option 3 would be best and a mix of information from blogs, forums and some home study will best suit this option.


The planning stage means I take the information and set many small goals to learn new skills and an understanding of others perspectives, these goals for me should be manageable and within a timeframe, I know that I cannot control everything and there will be many factors I have not considered yet, so if I fail on a goal I can re-evaluate it, move it, delete it without feeling I have failed in any way, there are many goals to achieve there will be many deviations to make and many obstacles.

Some of these goals will involve the information I gathered in step 3, some will be quick other will take much longer and may need breaking down into smaller goals, I will need to look at how they all fit together and what resources are available to me and when.

If my rejections are on quality then these actions goals need to be around improving my workflow, so is my kit good enough, read tutorials and blogs, do some home study, ask for forum critique, read some software help files.

If my rejections are ‘not what we need’ or ‘not suitable for stock’ then I need to look at my content, what the website are accepting, which subjects are oversaturated, what’s assets subjects are up and coming, what other website will my assets fit, do plenty of research looking at what sells and why.   


Each goal I set is an action there will be many actions, some that will take me outside of my comfort zone, as I will need to be able to objectively respond to failure and persuasion, actively listen, negotiate, ask for help, and be assertive, taking other perspectives and the realisation that I am not always right.

After completing these actions I hope that if or when I get a rejection I will not take it personally, I will understand that not all websites want my best seller, different websites require different assets, the inspectors are human and only doing a job, and it is really nothing personal, I will be able to look at any rejection in it’s own right. 


One Response

  1. […] Follow up: How to deal with rejection in seven steps […]

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