2. INITIAL DESIGNS I sometimes cry alone at my computer over the death of an unchosen design. My first designs are NEVER chosen by my clients. They are often my favorite. But never the favorite of my clients. Ever. Ideas in the beginning of any project are sometimes spot-on (gut reactions are good) but most of the time for me, they're just mental poop - it is my mind's way of working out the cliche, what I see people doing on Dribbble, high hopes, and dream-come-true-design. I've found that once those initial designs are out of the way, knocked out of my mind, the real designing begins.
It sucks to hear that your favorite doesn't reeeeaaaally work. Take a day, listen to what the client says, ask more people (especially your friends who will tell you it's amazing and that the client is crazy), ask some more people, lay that little guy to rest and move on with your life.
The bottom two are obviously not good and I knew it while designing them - they look satanic. Because I still like them, I will store them away for a future client who worships sun gods.
Rejection of the top one was harder to swallow. I love it. I (heavily) borrowed the design from my favorite tattoo artist. I can vomit up a million reasons why it should work: it's striking; women will be drawn to it because it's lady-like, but not too lady-like; it's generically Asian; it's versatile - both ancient and modern at the same time; etc. But the truth is: it's religious in nature and it feels too princess-y - both things the garment center is not going for.
Take Away: allow time for mind dump.