Thursday, November 12, 2015

Answering the Call of Nature - The Business of Art


WOW!! There is excitement in the air.  You have just completed your most awesome picture ever!  Everything worked.  You know it has taken your work to a new level.

Those feelings don't happen every day in the studio but they do happen.

You decide to enter that picture into a juried show.  You send off your picture, wait, and wait.  It gets declined.  Your devastated.  Your sense of your work is shattered.

Stop right there!

Looking Back - Watercolour - Part of Urban Explorers Series in a Juried Show
Take a look at the file you sent.  Was it the right file size requested?  If the file was too big it may not have loaded properly into their software.  If the file was too small when they projected it for jurying it would have been fuzzy.  Not the best way to see your work.

Was the file named properly?  A picture file called "IMG_0150.JPG" can not be easily matched to your paperwork.  And will get lost in the system.  Most entries ask for a specific naming sequence but they don't a good standard is to name the file with: your name; image name;size;medium; price.

Now look at the image itself.  Is it a good representation of your work?  No glares, shadows, fingers, or frames showing.
These may sound like trifling things but I was involved in an International Watercolour Competition last year that received over 8000 entries.  40% did not make it past the first level of jurying because of these issues.  I was shocked when I saw those numbers.  (I was also relieved that my work made it to Level 2. No, I didn't make it to the top but my work was in there representing me.)

Your Art is your business and good images are your way of getting your work out there. Whether it is for competition, juried shows or publicity. Making some changes in handling your image files may be in order.

A Friend in Black - Watercolor - Part of Urban Explorers Series in a Juried Show
Naming files and adjusting file sizes does require software.  Photoshop, Photo Elements and Lightroom are good programs that will allow for setting different file sizes and resolutions and saving in a variety of formats.  They are also good programs for cropping out frames, fingers and fiddly things that sneak into the background.  But no program can deal with the glare and shadows of a poor photograph.  That requires a good camera shotwith good lighting.  
Hmm. .  Interesting - Watercolor-  Part of Urban Explorers Series in a Juried Show

No, you don't need to go and spend a fortune on camera and lighting equipment but learning more about lighting does help.  The salesman at your local camera shop is a good resource.  I spend a few hours talking with the fellow at the Kerrisdale Camera Store near us.(no, not all at once, I had to go back several times with questions) He really helped me understand what I was doing with my camera. The result was a mini photo booth in my studio.
Attending a few photography classes helps, and if you have a friend that is a good photographer take him out for dinner.  He can be an awesome resource.

Review your files, make those changes and get into juried events.

My cats are part of my Urban Explorers Series, they will be part of the Ensemble 2015, a digital juried show.  Show Opens Nov 21 and runs to Dec. 19, 2015.  The ACT Art Gallery, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, BC.  Reception Saturday, Nov. 21 3:30-5pm,  Gallery open Tues-Sat. 11-4pm.

Your Art Business is an important part of you as an Artist. February is Marketing Month for Artists and I have two all day workshops set up: Sunday,February 21 & Sunday, February 28, 2016. Spend a day learning more about Marketing your art and developing your Market Plan for 2016.  (I do have room for out-of-towners).  Registration and more Information:  - Workshops
See more Marketing Tips on my Points to Ponder Page on this blog.

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Have a great artful day,