If you are a student or an artist, art competitions are a fantastic way to get discovered. How much so, though, you may ask? As compared to many other advertising and marketing techniques, none is as direct or immediate. However, the results, once you have won, are more than worth the effort.
Winning art competitions are not like getting paid cash. But unlike many other types of paid advertising, they can be both effective and long-lasting. The major difference between art competitions and regular advertisements is that art prizes (usually) do not have to be won. This is because, while advertising is mostly used to raise awareness of products and services, art competitions are mainly for entertainment. That is, how a work of art affects the viewer or reader, is not directly related to how much money the artist makes. However, the work is still judged by its quality and originality.
Enter Art Competitions
How to enter art competitions is a trick that many new artists don’t know. Many artists who do know how to enter competitions don’t even know how to run it properly. There are many different types of competitions for all kinds of artists. Most importantly, each type of competition has a different purpose. For example, while advertising competitions encourage a company to use an artist’s artwork to sell their goods and services, juried competitions reward artists who have completed specific pieces in a specified time frame. These are just two examples, of course.
The best way to find out how to enter art competitions, then, is to contact the organisers of any art or design exhibitions you’re considering attending. Not every exhibition or art gallery will be aware of competitions for every kind of work, so it’s important to contact several. Many organisations host a writing or photographic shortlist, so if you’re submitting your work to a literary or photographic exhibition you may want to email them about your work. Most companies are more likely to respond to your emails than hand-mails.
A good way to work out how to enter art competitions is to calculate the costs associated with each form. You need to understand how much prize money, entry fees and marketing costs are likely to be. This is because prize money paid to the winning artist goes towards covering costs such as printing and postage.
On the other hand, the amount paid for each image or painting is dependent on how long the image or painting is likely to be displayed. So is the value of the work won through prize money. Some art competitions ask for images only, whereas others allow the use of photographs or paintings. Many allow you to ‘use all or part of the image’, although some will specify how this will be decided. You’ll need to enter a style preference for each category – contemporary, impressionist, traditional, etc – and describe your image in full.
As mentioned above, many artists choose not to enter some kinds of art competitions because they believe that they’re unlikely to win. There are many cases of artists raking in huge profits from art competitions – but not all of them. Many artists have been extremely unlucky in the past, winning a prize and finding their work has a low market value. These cases are very rare and typically not worth pursuing, so it’s worth speaking to an artist before entering any kind of competition. Just because an artist doesn’t win, doesn’t mean that they’re not putting out a worthwhile effort.
Besides, some art competitions award prize money, and some don’t. The nature of the prize should be taken into account when choosing an artist for a particular competition – if the prize is worth it, then look for a winner. Sometimes the only way to tell is by judging the winners – if there are several very similar winners (all with a similar style, price, material, subject etc), you might want to judge the prizes awarded separately. If the prizes are spread among several equally deserving artists, however, then it may be worth entering all of them!