In July 2022 I entered my first art show. It was an amazing experience to go through the process of putting together the requirements for the online application. I was as nervous as a kitten. I didn't know what I was doing, what some of the questions meant or what I was supposed to write. Would my artwork stack up with other entries, was my work worthy of being accepted? Am I an imposter? All the questions came bounding up to me as I sat there with the computer screen in front of me and the online form bouncing from the screen and the questions swirling in my head. I took a deep breath and thought, what is the best thing that can happen? So, I entered my first art show, was accepted, and sold my painting. Not bad for a first time attempt.
There are so many great reasons to enter art shows and art competitions. I find one of the most important processes to come out of entering is being able to explain your work. It gives you a chance to consider the piece you are entering, what is the emotion you are trying to evoke, what you were thinking, how does it relate to the show if it has a theme.
I remember another show, the piece had to have D hooks. I had no idea what a D hook was or how I was going to fix it to my piece as I was entering artwork on a board which was only 3mm thick. After countless YouTube videos, practice on scrap boards I devised a solution.
How do you pack a painting to go via post to an art show or exhibition? This was another hurdle I needed to overcome. I needed to protect my piece, the corners, the canvas, what is the best way of packaging?
In the past I did not have to deal with postage as my art sales had been local and drop offs.
All these little nuances prepare you for sales, speaking about your art and allow you an experieince to prepare you for future sales and exhibitions. Next time you see an art show advertised, give it a go and if you happen to be attending one, keep an eye out for me.
Lee Cummins is a mixed media artist, workshop and art class facilitator.