Bead Bowl 2011: Top 5 Tips for Entering Jewelry Contests


Puppy Bowl

Some of you will watch football, some will watch Puppy Bowl (my fave on Animal Planet), some will bead. Some mutitaskers will do all of the above . . . a common theme here is competition (slightly less obvious with the Puppy Bowl strategy) but competitive with other teams or yourself. I admit I'm highly competitive with myself. What does that mean? I always strive to do better, make that next necklace seriously over-the-top, create better wrapped loops, dive into an unfamiliar color palette, etc.

Competing with yourself is a good thing. Whether you bring your new masterpiece into the office for show-and-tell or enter it in an International Design contest, feel proud and delighted with your progress and the bravery it took to put yourself out there.

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick is the editor of Beading Daily

My 1st place winner, Tribal Odyssey, KGI Worldwide Design Contest 2010

Spacer 15x15 pixels I invite all of you to give it a try in 2011. Whether you've never entered a jewelry contest before or are a seasoned pro, step out on that shaky ledge and enter a few more this year. The feeling of gratification when you see your piece published in a magazine or on a website makes your heart patter a bit, and you can't help but smile even bigger. I've been on both sides of the table, entering my work in contests,  as well as a jury member for fine-arts shows, and I'd like to share some of my lessons learned with you:

Top 5 Tips for Entering Jewelry Contests 

1. Enter your best work.  Ask everyone around from your co-workers to your hairdresser to vote on their favorite pieces of yours. Don't rely on Aunt Gertrude's opinion because she wears a lot of jewelry. Take a poll. P.S. Mom will always be biased.

2. Images, IMAGES, IMAGES! I can't tell you how many times phenomenal entries have been thrown out in less than 2 seconds due to poor photography. The work is stunning in person, but the artist failed to convey that with professional images. Whether the submissions call for actual photographs or digital images, they need to be professional. Don't even bother entering and wasting a stamp if your images aren't the best they can be! Put Starbucks on hold for awhile and contribute to your photo fund. It's more than worth it in the long run.

3. Follow the application carefully. If the deadline is 2-25-2011, do not mail it on 2-26-2011. Pay attention to specific dates, the deadline listed 2-25-2011 can mean postmarked by that date or your entry must reach their offices by that date. Pay attention to these details and be sure to write legibly or type all your information. The easier you make it on the jury to select you, the better!

4. Present one strong body of work with pieces that relate to each other and tell a consistent story of you as an artist. Just because you do watercolor paintings AND jewelry doesn't mean you should submit both mediums. Keep it simple and focused on one artistic statement.

5. Most importantly, if you end up being rejected, do NOT take it personally. The jewelry category might have already filled up, or another artist has similar work, or one of the jurors doesn't like red and all your pieces are red (sorry to say, but it happens). Ask for any feedback from the jury (if possible) and learn from those lessons for your next competition.

So, take a few deep breaths, sip on a glass of vino, or nibble on chocolate and take the plunge. Here are a couple of great jewelry competitions to get you started:

Bead Star 2011 Call for entries starts Feb. 8th

Beadwork VII: The Beaded Earth

The best is yet to bead!



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