Do you want to win some cash? Art competitions are a great way for artists to get their work seen and earn some money. Read this article for an introduction to art contests, including winning strategies, tips, and lists of the best online and local competitions.
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Why Enter Art Competitions
Are you trying to build a following for your online art business and wonder if entering an art contest is a good idea?
Art contests are a great way for artists to get their work seen by the public, build a following, and win some cash. Many art competitions will showcase artwork in an online gallery or museum, meaning your work is more likely to be seen by potential clients.
Artists can also receive feedback on their submissions which helps them grow as creators. Winning an art contest isn’t just about bragging rights – there’s often money involved.
The most common prize is usually between $500 and $5000, but many of these prizes come with additional benefits such as scholarships, art supplies, and travel stipends.
Winning artists will also benefit by publishing their artwork and biography in an art show catalog. This helps young artists to build name recognition which will help them to build a solid foundation for their art career,
What Are The Benefits Of Entering Art Competitions
The benefits of entering art competitions include:
- The opportunity to compete with others and be judged against them
- Winning prizes
- A higher chance of being exhibited or published in an art magazine
- Cash prize
- Showcased on social media
- Feedback on their work
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Meet other artists of similar interests online or offline
- Artists are always trying to improve their style, but participation in art contests allows them to explore different techniques and styles.
How To Prepare For An Art Competition
You will want to know a few things before you enter an art competition.
Firstly, what is the prize for this art competition? Is it a cash prize or other prizes (such as recognition)?
Secondly, are there any restrictions on age, nationality, mediums used in your work, and so forth? Make sure you check that before submitting.
Lastly – do not forget to read all of the rules. Many artists go into competitions without even reading about them first.
I can’t tell you how much time people have wasted entering a contest they weren’t eligible for because they failed to read the rules.
Lastly, ensure to keep up with deadlines listed by contests, such as when submissions close or submission reminder emails from organizers.
After you have decided on an art competition and read all of the contest rules, you will want to prepare by doing the following:
- Planning your work by creating a concept and sketching out all the steps for your piece.
- Finding a proper location where you want to display your art, such as gallery space, museum show, school assembly hall (if applicable), etc… Be sure to include any information about what is needed from organizers, such as size requirements, beforehand if you are not submitting online. Organizers will often try their best but may not always prepare with every material they might need to display submissions.
- Write an artist statement in case you win, or people ask about your work.
- Build an online portfolio so people can see more of your artwork if interested.
- Have business cards on hand if you are entering a local art competition.
Submitting Your Work:
- If you submit as an individual artist, include a personal bio and any other information that might help organizers know who you are and what makes your art special when entering competitions or applying for grants/fellowships. You want them to see that spending time with your application is worth their while. If you have had previous success, such as winning prizes in shows, this would also be something great to mention.
- If you’re sharing one submission between two artists, make sure that both bios match each other but provide unique perspectives on why they think their collaborative artwork deserves recognition. For example, if there’s only room for one photo of the piece, submit different angles so the judges can better understand the artist’s intentions.
- Suppose you are submitting art in more than one category. In that case, there is no need to submit your bio multiple times- use the same information for every submission and highlight which area it applies to with each statement (e.g., “My artwork belongs in this category because…”).
- If an image needs to be modified or resized before submission, save a new copy rather than editing the original file so that all versions maintain their metadata integrity.
- In addition, artists should read through all directions provided by organizers carefully and ask the coordinator any questions they might have to prepare for the event.
- Research the entry fee for the art contests you are interested in participating in.
- Artists should participate in art contests because it can provide them with several benefits that may otherwise go untapped- those include networking opportunities (especially at large competitions), exposure to new audiences, cash awards, feedback from judges on their work’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as having something new to add to an artist’s CV/resume. Artists should also consider entering online art contests because they are often cheaper than traditional ones when considering entry fees; more accessible thanks to being able to submit entries remotely rather than
Tips For Artists On How To Win An Art Competition
Here are some tips from professional artists on how to win an art contest:
- Only enter competitions are you qualified to win.
- Find the best online art contests by researching on your own or using sites like ArtSlant, an aggregator that lists all of their favorite international and local juried art exhibitions, calls for entry, awards programs, and grants opportunities. They also have reviews from artists who’ve entered the competition with success in the past. There will also be a list of art competitions below.
- Consider entering at least six months before an event because getting approval letters and other paperwork together, if required, can take time. Don’t wait until just two weeks before an event — this will most likely be too late.
- Submit early enough so there’s plenty of time between submitting your artwork and when the jury members will review it.
- The more time you give yourself, the easier and less stressful this process will be for you in the long run.
- If deadlines close within a month, consider submitting your artwork to only one event out of those two so as not to spread yourself too thin or get overwhelmed with multiple requests at once.
- Be sure to read over all instructions before entering an online competition.
- Look at the winners of previous years. If you feel that your art is not good enough, take some time to practice and improve your craft.
- Read the rules of a local event before entering, especially if there are specific requirements such as mediums allowed or size limits.
- When deciding which art contest is right for you, ensure they have a deadline in mind. Some contests will continue after their initial timeframe has passed due to high submission numbers, so be careful not to miss out.
- Be aware of who’s judging your artwork; this can affect how well you do at competitions and whether people notice your work. Some artists prefer anonymity, while others prefer to know who the judges are because they want to know if they are unbiased.
- Participate in at least three different competitions throughout the year with as many pieces as possible to have more chances to win. The best way to do this is by using an app like ArtRabbit or Oddshot, which gives you notifications when there are new open calls for entries on their site.
The Best Way To Promote Your Artwork After Winning A Competition
Winning artists will benefit from winning an art competition because it gives them a chance to get their name out there.
Here are some ways you can promote your art after you have won an art competition:
- Create a press release
- Send a newsletter to your email list and tell them how to purchase the original or prints of the winning artwork.
- Update your social media platforms with the good news: tag @theart jury, @museumname, or other relevant accounts to get their attention.
- Networking is key! Reach out to old colleagues who may have connections at major art institutions that you want to get into contact with for future opportunities. Give them an update about why you are reaching back out now that you’ve won an award.
- Write a blog post about the event and submit it to online publications.
- Share a video about your experience on YouTube or other social media platforms.
- After the event, send a thank you card to those who attended it and thank them for recognizing your work.
- Highlight your win on your fine art website. Include the exhibition, the competition date, and an image of the art. Place this information on your bio page.
Popular Online Art Competitions
Here is a list of some of the best online art competitions:
-ArtPrize Awards: Open to any artist 18 years of age or older from anywhere in the world who meets all eligibility requirements. All submissions are online entries through your website. If you submit via this method, no fees are required, so it can be an easy way to participate with less commitment than in other competitions.
–AcrylicWorks 9: Is looking for the best in acrylic paintings over various styles and subjects. Artists compete in a juried online show, with the opportunity to win $2,000. Submissions will be judged on both technique and creative elements. Winning works will appear in Artists Magazine.
–Splash 23: Is an art competition for watercolor artists, and the winner will receive $2000.
–Kaleidoscope: This online art competition is open to artists in all media and styles.
–The Lumen Prize: Is a digital art competition created to offer special opportunities for artists in the field of digital art. Winners are eligible for different prizes, including online cash awards.
–Animago Award: Has held competitions for over 20 years. The prestigious Animago Award competition has showcased the best in 3D animation and stills, visual effects, visualization, and design. During a gala event at the annual Animago conference in Munich, Germany, this ceremony takes place with all winners being announced.
For more online art competitions, visit Online Juried Shows.
How To Find Local Art Competitions
Your state’s art association website is the best place for local competitions.
- Join your local Facebook group
- Visit your local art center and inquire about what’s going on.
- Check out your Event Calendar for Local Arts Competitions.
Final Thoughts On Art Competitions
Your strategy for winning an annual competition is just as important as the work you submit.
Whether your goal is to win cash prizes, sell more of your artwork, or grow a following from people worldwide, the strategies we’ve discussed can help you increase sales and exposure in today’s competitive marketplace.
There are competitions open to artists who create art with multiple mediums, including:
- Oil painting
- Watercolor Painting
- Acrylic Painting
- Pencil drawing
- Colored pencil
Whether you are looking for a non-profit organization or a profit organization, you have a chance of winning prizes and having your art seen by people worldwide.