Past Posts

June 2010
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Should you enter art shows?

Over the years we have discovered that it never seems to occur to the average artist to question the validity of the advice that has been preached for so many decades concerning art marketing.

To NOT test a theory is to blindly accept another person’s decision concerning YOUR life!

One such theory is art shows and competitions. Many artists are paralyzed by the thought and pressure of “needing”  to compete to advance their art careers. We meet and talk with them every day. Artists with not one but two art degrees who have never “done a thing” with their art and feel they are running out of time. Artists who have won awards at shows yet their careers as artists are dead in the water. Artists who are afraid their art is not good enough. Artists living on a shoestring who do not have the money to pay the jury fees to enter a lot of shows….our list goes on and on. We hear their fears in our workshops, at art and craft shows, on our forums.

They are our ACE members who feel that they MUST enter art shows…… because
that is what they are “supposed to do.” Well,  folks, take heart, because guess what? You do not have to be an award winning artist to have a career!

In all the years that Steve and I, on our own and together have created our art for a living we have  NEVER had a client ask us what awards we have won. :-)

We are not alone. Those ACE members who also derive either all or part of their income
from their art can also answer the same way. We’re not talking about
art shows where you are a vendor and are juried in to participate -We are talking about the shows where you pay a fee to be judged to win something such as a ribbon, an award, a trip, etc.

What does that mean to you as an artist? It means relax! Concentrate on
areas that will offer the greatest return for your efforts. Are we
saying don’t enter shows? Of course not-I just entered one and placed
first in the professional division…and won a $200.00 prize (of course I’m happy!)
When I first started “my serious art career”, I entered many shows, following that same vague advice of “needing to” that all artists fall victim to- not thinking for ourselves and being too unsure to branch out.   And it turned out to be an interesting test when I did  toss the idea.

Frankly, how many awards an artist has accumulated only matters to other artists!

Did I enter this particular art show to win an award? No I entered because I would be promoting my painting workshops in the area. It was entirely a marketing move for promotion, not for an award. Because I know in the real world of the marketing artist, that to our clients, awards mean nothing. They purchase from you because they like WHAT YOU DO!.

Just as in life, everything in moderation in your art career will get the greatest results!  But nothing will work if you don’t try. So before you dismiss the idea of awards meaning less than you were lead to believe,  open your mind and test it!   Don’t take our word for it. But don’t randomly take the word of the art community either.

We have discovered that our methods and track record for promoting and success and living the artist’s life are far better than the records of  artists who have followed the traditional route! :-)

Enter a show if you like, but don’t do it just because you feel that  you should!   Test it. Make your own discoveries but don’t be paralyzed into inaction!

Until later!  Theresa and Steve

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