"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
Entering art contests is a waste of damn time. The only ones who win are the organizers.
Too many artists are wasting their precious time, money, and energy by entering art contests for a blue ribbon or an unlikely cash prize award, when what they really want is just to sell their art.
Art contest organizers make money by banking on your insecurities and desperate need for validation. If you really believed in the art that you are trying to sell you wouldn’t participate in this nonsense.
I get it. We all want to be loved, seen, and heard but this is not the way.
Entering art contests for money is not an option when your real goal is to sell your art for a profit. If what you really want is to sell your art, then steer clear of art contests. Here’s why.
1.) These enterprises charge hefty sums of money and you get little to nothing in return, and yet you pay for that privilege.
So you get a blue ribbon? How does that help you sell your art? It doesn’t.
No one cares about your blue ribbon but you.
2.) Art contests use language and positioning to imply a false sense of prestige.
Art collectors are moved to buy your art, and the value you offer above and beyond it, or they’re not.
A list of “awards” isn’t going to change how collectors feel or get them to buy your art.
3.) Art contests harden the scarcity and permission based mindset which is the biggest self-limiting obstacle to an artist’s success.
4.) Competing with other artists fuels toxic and petty jealousy.
If you’re going to compete, compete for your collector’s attention and discretionary budget.
I’ve never had a collector who was trying to decide between my art or another artist’s art.
They’re trying to decide if they’ll going to indulge in purchasing the luxury retail product that I’m offering or another non-art luxury retail product or experience.
5.) Who are these self-appointed art judges anyway?
Art critics are frustrated creatives.
What gives them the authority to pass judgment on your art?
Art is in they eye of the beholder. There is a lid for every jar. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Do you get the picture?
Unless they’re actually going to buy your art, don’t give them an opportunity to judge it.
6.) Art contests imply that there is only one winner, one success. Look at how you’re defining success.
My definition of success is getting paid for inspiring other people with my art. It’s not beating other artists at a game someone made up for their profit and for our loss.
7.) You only have so much energy, money, and time left in this life. Instead of spending it on futile activities like art contests, invest it in building your own creative enterprise and learning how to create value above and beyond your art.
- Have you entered art contests?
- How much have you spent on entry fees?
- How much have you spent on supplies, photography, and or shipping?
- How much time have you spent?