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8 Mistakes Artists Make When Entering Art Competitions

8 Mistakes Artists Make When Entering Art Competitions

John R. Math |

In the last 5 months I have processed, administered and judged more than 1,000 entries for Light Space & Time’s monthly themed art competitions. I would estimate that at least 50% of the entries are not being submitted properly or are showing the artist’s work in its best light.

Make sure you are not making some of these common mistakes when entering art calls and competitions:

1. Read the Rules Thoroughly Prior to Submitting Your Work

The organization that is conducting the art call has developed their competition rules in order to administer, process and judge the art in a thorough and systematic manner. They have very good reasons why they want the submitted artwork to be labeled, sized and named in a certain way. Try to understand exactly what they want and conform to their process.

2. Be Aware of the Competition’s Deadline

The group who is managing the competition has created a deadline for a purpose. Their advertising, collateral materials and judge/juror schedules revolves around this timetable/deadline. It is absolutely unfair for an artist to expect the organization to change their schedule in order to help the artist with their scheduling issues. In addition, it is not fair to all of the other artists who got their submissions to the organization properly and on time.

3. Thoroughly Understand the Competition’s Theme & Media

Understand what the group wants from the artist. If it says 2 dimensional art, do not submit your jewelry, sculpture or crafts. If it says no photography, do not expect the organization to provide to you an exception. There are lots of other venues and organizations who are conducting calls for your type of art.

If you have any questions or concerns about the theme or what is acceptable media, contact and discuss this with the organization’s event staff. You can save yourself and the staff a lot of trouble, wasted time and effort by asking or having the theme and media questions clarified.

Next: Label the Entries in Their Format, Not Yours →

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