Entering competitions is one of the best things you can do for your art
Tossing your art out into the big bad world to be judged is terrifying, dear artists. But you must do it.
Why? Because getting your art ready for a competition gives you a deadline, and deadlines are your friend. A deadline can give you a sense of purpose, so you’re not just flailing about making too many cups of tea, touching up the same spot on your canvas over and over again in the quest for perfection, not finishing anything.
Plus if you win, come runner up, or get an honorary mention, you can trumpet it on your Bluethumb page, your Facebook page, your website, everywhere. Everybody loves a bit of recognition. And this, of course, will hopefully lead to more sales and a bit of cash for you.
If you do happen receive a prize, let us know. We’re very proud of Bluethumb artists like Ben Tankard (Doug Moran National Portrait Prize semi-finalist 2013) and John Graham (Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize 2007), and we’ll help promote you.
Even if you don’t win or get a mention, you’ll compare yourself to the artists that do. Believe me, that’s a good thing – while it may be discouraging to begin with, identifying your weaknesses as an artist is one of the best ways to grow.
Now, don’t just go for the big guns – the Archibald may be a way off yet – make sure you find out about smaller, local competitions that you’ve got a better chance of winning.
Entering local competitions is also a great way to get in touch with other artists and find out about other opportunities.
Here are just a few of the resources you can use to find out about competitions and art prizes to enter:
Art Almanac http://www.art-almanac.com.au/awards/
Australian Artist http://www.australianartist.com.au/competitions
Art Prizes Australia http://www.art-prizes.com.au/ArtPrizesPlanner.aspx
Arts Connect http://www.artsconnect.com.au/callforartists/
Competitions for Artists http://www.competitionsforartists.com/
Yen Magazine http://www.yenmag.net/artaward/
If you know of others, feel free to post them in the comments section.