Failure can sting. It’s known, however, that some of the world’s artistic masterpieces are borne of pain.

At some point in all of our lives, we face rejection of some description. Whether it’s a career opportunity or a relationship, either platonic or romantic, a curveball gets thrown and things take a turn for the worse, leading us down the path to failure.

This is what has happened fairly recently for Claudia Vulliamy. At 18 years old, Claudia is a would-be scholar of classics at Wadham College, Oxford. Things might have worked out, had she not been declined, and had she not gone on to experience that feeling which is all too familiar to many of us: rejection.

Many people would be resigned to such a negative state of affairs. Claudia, however, followed the path of so many creative geniuses and turned her painful experience into something brilliant.

The resulting piece of artwork includes random phrases from the rejection letter, such as “Thank you for applying to Oxford”, “…after careful consideration…”, “…not been possible to offer you a place…” and “We do realise…” all of which are set against a background of yellow, black and blue shapes. The presence of these phrases indicates the manner in which they have been torn away and dismantled from the original manner. We probably all wish we destroy our rejection letters in such a creative manner.

Claudia’s mother, Louisa Saunders, shared the piece on Twitter, where it has gone viral. Attention has also been drawn to the art Claudia has shared on Instagram, including a girl laying on a bed, a woman in a classroom and the outlined profile of a female face. What each of these figures has in common is their sense of solemnity- perhaps unsurprising, given the struggles, the artist has had to face.

Nobody will be able to achieve success at everything. Fortunately, failure can bring successes of its own. That’s what Claudia Vulliamy has found. Hopefully, there are many other aspiring artists who will find the very same thing.

Luke Mayo, Correspondent (Art)

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