Monday, April 4, 2016

Five Tips For Applying For Local Shows

Crash.  Watercolor and Crayon on Yupo.
Approximately 8.5 x 6

I have worked on the jury committee of a local show for many years.  I certainly am not an authority, but over the years I've started to develop strong opinions about what makes a good application.  Here are my tips for making sure your application has the best chance to go as smoothly as possible.

Great Photographs

I realize that this may sound obvious, but every year I'm shocked at the number of people that submit images that are blurry or incorrectly rotated. High resolution is a good idea for show applications, too.

Be Timely

We are a volunteer run show--I'm happy to help people with their applications and/or photos if need be.  But, if it's 48 h ahead of the deadline, and you're in a panic because you can't figure out the application?  Yeah, no.  I said we were volunteer run, right?

Focus on The Art

Each photo should focus on one piece of art, and be a great photograph (see above).  Don't show the frame (for paintings), or more than one piece in the photo, or have distracting backgrounds (white, gray, or black are great choices).  Take off the watermarks.

Natural backgrounds, like the woods?  Save that for marketing, not for entering a show.  Need a human model for best display?  Again, consider carefully.

Be Relatively Consistent Across Your Entries

For our show, most people are applying in one medium (say painting or jewelry) to have a booth. They apply with three photos.  I understand the urge to showcase everything you're capable of doing, but in my opinion, it is much better for your application to have some internal consistency. Exactly what do I mean?  If you have two lovely landscapes and your third application photo is a cute animal painting, we'll wonder what the heck is going on.

Keep Your Application Current

I live in a relatively small community art wise--you may too.  I recognize a lot of styles and works, especially in painting.  Use the same pieces to apply to too many shows for too many years?  We notice.

Having said all that, I must confess that I am guilty of some of this, especially keeping consistency across my entries.  And, you can do everything right, application wise and still not get in.  The jurors may be trying to balance the show, or have strong preferences, or who knows?  If you've been doing art for any length of time, you've probably come to the same conclusion I have--you need nerves of steel, and a strong ego in the face of rejections!

About the painting, above:  I'm continuing to experiment on yupo, and just having fun. Paint colors are phthalo blue gs, permanent yellow deep, and quin violet.

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