I’m finally getting around to finishing up this post. As usual what started out as a small idea spun into something big and complicated. This time I chose to cut it back to two main ideas, instead of my usual half a dozen posts. Today’s post will deal with the first point which deals with image quality. The second point will be addressed in an upcoming post.
So what are the two most important thoughts (as in: what will get me approved) in regards to filling out art fair applications?
1. Submit good images. Scratch that. Submit the best darn images you can create, both artistically and in the reproducing true to the original.
2. Words have power. Be able to write a personal statement intelligently and succinctly, as well as describe your work to it’s best advantage.
That’s it. You manage to do those two little things well, your chances for acceptance just went way up. Remember, the bigger the event, the more important this becomes.
“You may well say to yourself This is good enough to give them an idea of my work. Sure it’s a little blurry, but surely they can see that I have talent.” While this may be true, you are competing against other artists . . . So in the end, the jury will go with the ones who put in the effort.
Submit quality images
Most applications have gone digital either with Zapplication or just by taking digital files via cd. I think I had only one event this year who wanted slides only. Many will take slides yet, but charge you an additional fee to transfer them into a digital file.
It seems to me that this is a bad idea. Being an artist, I understand that most of us really don’t want to be bothered and hey, the event is offering to do that pesky chore for us. But here’s the thing, you are relying on someone else to copy your image, who really doesn’t care if the scan they took off your slide looks anything like your slide color-wise. They have perhaps hundreds more to do and just want to finish up on this task. Most raw scans need color correction and I’d bet dollars to donuts, no one does that part for the nominal fee they charge. So do it yourself if at all possible.
What constitutes a good quality image.
1. Clarity. No fuzziness or blurry areas. Also no shadows or glare.
2. Color is true to the original. Too light or dark is not acceptable.
3. Image Only. No framing, matting, glazing. (or fingers, grass, carpeting. You get the idea.)The nice thing about digital files is this is easy to crop out.
4. Image is square. This means the image is not crooked or fading off into the distance on one end.
5.Your best work only. You will be judged on your weakest work guaranteed. Most applications take 3-4 images. If you have 3 outstanding pieces and one so-so piece. It is the so-so piece that will determine your entrance into the event.
When done, these 5 things show the jury that you are a professional and care about your art. You may well say to yourself “This is good enough to give them an idea of my work. Sure it’s a little blurry, but surely they can see that I have talent.” While this may be true, you are competing against other artists who have done all 5 things to create a great representation of their work. So in the end, the jury will go with the ones who put in the effort.
In the end
It is understandable if creating good digital images is not your thing. But if you want to get into bigger and better events you need to either take on the challenge and learn it, or hire a good photographer. Much like framing, this is all about you showing your work to it’s best advantage.Which in turn speaks to your professionalism.
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