and entering

You Are Not a Real Artist

Signet Society Crest
Latin for "Nice Try. Be Better."

Dear whatever,

Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to apply to The Signet. We are so sorry to inform you that unfortunately, you are not a real artist. We sincerely hope that you do not take this as an invalidation of your worth as a person, just of your worth as a creative person. It has been a privilege getting to meet you—through your four-paragraph statement, that one time you came to a fancy lunch, and your “art.”

As you may know, this was only the second year we considered the possibility that people we don’t directly know may actually have artistic talent. Out of 90 applications, we are only able to admit 12 were legitimate artists. This was an extremely difficult process; the sheer number of individuals who thought their work had any real merit was truly humbling.

We truly wish we could admit more members, but the entire house we own can’t fit all that many people. Additionally, the standard we alone set for who qualifies as a true artist maintains a hierarchy on campus vital to a healthy arts scene—and our egos.

Unfortunately, your art did not earn enough Signet Stars from members to pass our 5-minute evaluation. Additionally, none of us knew you personally nor did we see you at either of our two-and-a-half parties last semester, which called into question your claim to be active in the campus arts scene. 

However, many of the members had vague things to say about you and your 1 double-spaced page and 90-second video, from which we extrapolated your entire body of work. We wanted to share some of those things with you:

[insert name here later], people were impressed with not only the [diversity of/dedication to] your artistic pursuits, but also the risks you take as a [whatever it is they think they do], and the [unique/compelling/engaging (choose 2)] character of your work. Many described you as [enormously/remarkably] talented, and commented on how much they enjoy seeing you [art verb].

Thank you again for your application, and for the time you dedicated to The Signet these past two weeks. We deeply regret that we are unable to offer you the opportunity to pay us $1700 a year to be deemed An Artist. We hope that you won’t interpret this decision as an indication that you are unwelcome in the space, or unappreciated by members—interpretive work being clearly beyond your capabilities.

We will be in touch about the one-and-a-quarter upcoming event this year in the form of 11-point Garamond emails, half of which will be taken up by our signature. We have also drawn straws to see who must send you the one (1) Genuine Text expressing their personal dismay that you are not really a worthwhile artist. We also hope that you will reach out with any questions about the process of making art – we’d love to help you figure it out.


The Signet

© 2016