Adventures in the Art of Rejection is a visual journey into the rejections of San Francisco-based filmmaker, Sephora Woldu with illustrations by Juan Astasio. From professional rejection, personal rejection, romantic rejection, and self-rejection, Woldu invites readers to tag along with a growing gang of characters from anecdotes along the way. The title is inspired by Erich Fromm’s perennial masterpiece, The Art of Loving. Written in 1956, Fromm challenges the perception that love is something that happens to us (if we’re lucky) as rather something to work towards understanding and practicing in all elements of life, throughout life. Perhaps rejection isn’t just something that happens to us (if we’re unlucky). Adventures in the Art of Rejection is an attempt to see beauty and value in that risk in order to keep trying things.


"Adventures in the Art of Rejection" by Sephora Woldu

  • Sephora Woldu is an Eritrean American filmmaker based in San Francisco. Named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, her work has gained audiences from the American Film Institute to Eritrean community centers in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Toronto, London, and New York. She is the owner of Abyssurdian Productions, a creative studio based in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, CA. Sephora received the Emerging Filmmaker Award (Indie Memphis) and the Jury Prize for Bold Innovation (RiverRun International Film Festival) for her debut feature length narrative film, Life is Fare. She is currently developing its prequel, Aliens in Eritrea, with support from FilmHouse (SFFILM) and IFP Week. Adventures in the Art of Rejection is a product of the creative wilderness Woldu navigates in order to finish a sci-fi coming of age film based in East Africa. In her own words, "this is definitely going to work".

  • Juan Astasio is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer born and raised in Madrid, Spain. He lives with his wife and two feline kids in Brooklyn. The New Yorker rejected hundreds (!) of his cartoons before buying one (!!) just as this book was completed. He loves cats and some people.