Good question; how DO we pick the collages for our group?
It is probably a matter of individual taste, or individual aesthetics.
Lots of people don't like my work at all because they find it too busy, the colors are too bright, their eye does not know where to rest, ... OR they don't know why, but they just don't like it!
Their taste is simply not like mine.
I have learned to not take that as an affront or to get upset when I show my work to anyone, in person, or online. So there are groups that repeatedly decline my work.
So I look at their galleries again and see that I don't really care for their choices, they may be boring to me or even too "classic". Whatever the reason, I don't make things like the administrator likes.
So I leave the group, as you have done. It still is not a good feeling to most people to have their work declined. But by noticing that I must check again to see what that group was looking for ... does my work look like anything in their galleries?
It's a parallel process to submitting to a real Gallery.
My work is declined, not because of its inherent worth (and what is ANY art worth anyway?). My work is declined because my taste and what I think is beautiful is different from someone else's.
An example would be that a local museum turned down my art, while the local book store was eager to have it up as soon as possible, just from the photographs.
It just happened to work out well because I got a very important and precious gift from a fellow deviant. I will come back to that in a moment.
But see .... more people will get a chance to look at my collages at our local Barnes & Nobles store compared to the number of people at a museum.
I was surprised that the museum turned down my pieces, but I did not get angry, simply disappointed. They just weren't looking for what I'm producing. Therefore there is no business between us.
Did I jump for joy when the bookstore wanted to display my art in their store? Absolutely!
One has to take such things as an opportunity to help to you to define your style. Many people like my art, many more do not, but I can't worry about the people who don't like my work BECAUSE I LOVE IT. Therefore I will continue to make it the way I love. If I felt like doing so, I could change my art to suit the audience, but I don't have fun doing that, so I choose my own path.
Perhaps in the future I may choose to modify some aspects of my art to please a greater number of people. Perhaps I would be more inclined to do that if, say, my livelihood depended on the sale of my art.
Until then I will thank my friend
for his wonderful words. He said that it sounds narcissistic to do this but ...
Embrace all the positive feedback you get and (unless it is constructive criticism) he says to ignore the people who don't like it. Even more helpful he said to think of how a person reacts to my work as if their opinion was a gift from a passing stranger ...
So if I like it, I keep it and enjoy it, perhaps even cherish it. But if I don't like the gift then I would simply throw it away.
I hope, my fellow artist, that if you choose to leave this group, you can ignore my opinion about your collages. I hope you can ignore the fact that we simply don't like the same things. I hope that this doesn't stop you from following your dreams as an artist. That it doesn't stop you from making what you love.
And most of all I HOPE that others who share your vision continue to appreciate it and that they say it LOUDLY :
"I THINK THIS IS WONDERFUL" and "I THINK THIS IS MARVELOUS."
I hope for you to hear those voices much more loudly than mine.