Become an Artist >> Browse Articles >> Marketing Your Art >> Trade Shows & Competitions


8 Mistakes Artists Make When Entering Art Competitions

8 Mistakes Artists Make When Entering Art Competitions

John R. Math |

4. Label the Entries in Their Format, Not Yours

The group who is conducting the call for art wants the entries in a certain form for identifying, administering and for judging purposes. By not labeling your entries properly, your art may not be judged if it is lost or mishandled due to this issue.

5. Provide and Enter the Maximum Amount of Entries Allowed

If a competition is asking for 3 images, give them the 3 images. Many times we receive only 1 or 2 images when we are asking for 5 images. A judge would like to see that the artist has a consistent style and technique. Additional images will help the juror to evaluate your art more closely.

6. Provide a Biography If They Ask For It

Many times we do not receive a biography with the artist’s submissions. Either the artist is too busy, is lazy or embarrassed to provide a biography. This brief amount of information could possibly help the artist in getting accepted into that show. There have been times when a certain artist’s work has been accepted into the show, only to find out that they have not provided a biography. This will usually lead to the artwork being withdrawn from the exhibition. Have several sized bios ready made and available that will help in this purpose.

7. Follow the Organization’s Sizing Requirements

If the group is asking for certain size submissions in terms of pixels or inches follow it. There is no excuse to not have the art sized properly as there are many free art editing programs that can be downloaded online. Follow the size, resolution and quality settings that they are asking for. The main reason for this is that they are trying to standardize the judging process and if all of the entries are the same size (longest side of the image) and same resolution it will help the juror to make a better judgment and decision about your art.

8. Provide Good Quality Images Without Frames

There are many times that I have had to choose someone else’s art over another where the quality of the image/entry was poorly presented. I see entries where the paintings have been reproduced (photographed or scanned) for presentation purposes and as submitted they are poorly cropped (where you see part of the mat or frame), the image is too dark or is too light and overall the colors and contrast are out of balance. The artist’s presentation to the gallery and the jurors should be as if they were trying to sell your art to them in person. You only get one chance to impress the juror and this is not the time to get sloppy with your art submission.

There is a reason why they call it a “competition” as you are competing with other artists for a limited amount of places in that organization’s exhibition. Make sure your art is being prepared and submitted according to way in which that organization wants your art presented. Do not give them a reason to reject your art by either not following the rules or by not providing them with art that is not gallery worthy.

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!