Becoming art competition savvy

So here's a short yet sweet blog aimed at getting ready for those all-important open art competitions. I've been busy myself over the last month getting work prepared for several of these so I thought it would be handy to write an article on how to best organise yourself for them... here goes!

My top tips...

Funky Aardvark Gallery, Chester
- If the art competition is local to you, then definitely consider painting (or creating: sculpture, etc) something local for them too. By producing something unique and special for your area, you are more likely to be chosen as its a piece of artwork designed just for them

- If it is a national competition, read their brief carefully and make sure you follow their guidelines, i.e. the Derwent art competition is for pencil based submissions only (www.derwent-artprize.com)

- Take your time planning your entry, from the composition, materials to use, to the overall colour scheme

- Also bear in mind the size of your artwork, bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Remember they only have so much wall space and if you produce something too big you may be limiting your chances

- Don't worry about the type of materials used in your paintings. Its not so elitist these days that you have to use only oils. Exhibitions contain such a wide variety of artwork these days, so using acrylics or combining materials to create one-off mixed media pieces is absolutely fine and actually makes you come across as an imaginative and exciting artist

- Don't rush your painting(s), quality is key!

- Keep an eye on those deadlines and make sure you fill in the application forms correctly. Pay any entry fees, email or post photos with your application and label paintings you may have to hand in to be judged

- Be brave. Have the confidence to submit exciting work and if you don't get in this time, try, try and try again!

- Lastly, visit the exhibition. If you succeed or not, go and see what did get picked, get a taste for the gallery, where/who has chosen them and bear it all in mind for next time. Believe me, experience counts for a lot.

A big good luck!

P.S. Dotted around are a few photos from a recent exhibition that three of my paintings were chosen for to give you added motivation...

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