I recently posted a list of websites that display directories of call for entry, art competitions, art prizes, and more. Go here to view this helpful post… Call for Entries 2012
There are literally thousands of art contests yearly, but not all of them are not worthy of joining. Many may have requirements that do not match your style of art.
Others may be unworthy simply because they are overpriced, or the art will not be exposed to the proper audience. It is important to do some background research and preparation before applying for an art competition.
Applying for Juried Art Competitions Tips
- Past Winners
If the art competition is a recurring contest, take a look at past winners. Do they have any commonalities? Find out what they have in common in regards to color, size, style, medium and workmanship. If the artwork to be dispatched is not yet created, a general idea of what to strive for will be determined.
- Art Competition Rules
Read all the art competition rules and follow them carefully. Stay within the guidelines, such as size, medium, presentation, weight, and theme. Pay attention to what is to be included, such as an artist statement or bio, and all labelling requirements. If the call for entry is for multiple pieces, order and label them accordingly.
- Matching Art
Make sure your art matches the type of artwork typically accepted into the art contest. For example, if digital art is entered in a competition which is accepting surreal painting, the art will not even be considered. This is an obvious example, but sometimes it is not so clear cut. If the call for entry strictly accepts abstracts, an abstract-realism piece may not match. The same artwork may not be relevant for a stringent realism competition either. Read the requirements thoroughly so that you will not be submitting the wrong piece for the wrong artist competition. This will save time, money, and disappointment.
- Read all the fine print thoroughly
Check the copyright rules. This is very important! Make sure your reproduction rights are not being signed away. Always retain ownership of your artworks. If the art is published elsewhere, make sure there is adequate compensation.
The fine print should also have insurance information and what type of compensation will be given if the artwork is damaged or lost.
While it is a good idea to make sure the artwork matches the type of art commonly submitted, originality typically gets noticed. The art jury may be going through hundreds of submissions of similar looking pieces. If yours stand out from the rest, then the artwork will at least get noticed. Do not try to directly copy the work of others in the competition. Make it unique and different, and send your best, most successful artwork.
- Entry fees
Make sure the art competition entry fee isn’t over-priced. Check out the popularity of the art contest. Is the art exposure from the contest worth the cost of entry? Organizations that charge enormous fees are generally more focussed on making money than promoting artists.
- Good quality digital reproductions
If the art contest requires a digital copy of the artwork, make it top notch quality. Follow our guidelines for photographing art. Optimize the artwork in a photo editing software, such as Photoshop. Adjust the contrast and colors to accurately display the artwork. Reduce the image size according to the guidelines of the particular competition.
- Who are the jurors?
Find out who they are. What type of art do they like or are attracted to? If they are artists as well, find out the style of art they produce. Of course, judges are supposed to be impartial, but they may have stylistic preferences. Call for entry jurors are typically from the curator, art critic background. They look at art all day long, and have formed conscious or subconscious opinions of what they like.
- Venue for the Art Competition
Will your work be displayed in an art show where a lot of people will see it? Will collectors, the public, and art buyers have an opportunity to view the artwork? Make sure the art competition offers exposure from art buyers and collectors, and not just artists.
Keep expectations low on making money from art contests. The overall cost for submitting may leave the artist with little profit, if any.
Please do not take it personal if not selected for an art prize. It certainly does not mean the artwork is not good. Remember, this is a contest, and someone has to win. Check out the actual winners. If you think your art is better, resubmit it to another art competition.