How Not to Submit to Your Art to Art Competitions

by John R. Math on January 30, 2012

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Every month Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery will receive entries that we simply cannot use due to the poor quality of the images submitted by the artist. Here are the top 5 art submission problems that we see every month. In this article, we will present these problems and issues, visually with example images, in a slide show at the bottom of this post. Next to this paragraph is the post image of the Edward Hopper’s “The Long Leg” print as our example of how we (and I am sure every other serious art gallery or art organization) would like to receive any entries to our art competitions.

Below are the top 5 common presentation problems that we frequently receive:

1. Framed Images – We see images that are submitted to our gallery that are framed, crooked and not level.  Submitted images such as this will not be accepted, as it detracts from our gallery presentations and shows.

On a wall, in many cases, framing will help to establish, highlight and enhance the appearance of any art. On a website, the exact opposite is true and any framing of art will detract and take away the appearance of the art. We simply will not present art in that manner and in our rules, as well in and throughout our submission process this fact is stated several times and in different ways.

Our main focus and goal is to have a show which not only represents the best art which was submitted to us, but also to have art that will show well to our gallery visitors. Any images which are framed, crooked and the image lines are not level, in our opinion, is unacceptable art to have in any of our online art shows.

2. Images Have Hot Spots – Any images that are submitted that have highlights or over exposed “hot spots” on the image will not be used as well. This condition is caused by using a flash camera directly in front of the painting that you are trying to reproduce.

Obviously, the best solution (though it is the most expensive) is to have the art professionally scanned. However, the next best thing to do is to have the art photographed in a natural outdoor, diffused light. See our article How to Photograph Your Art the Right Way. Any images of paintings or any photographs should always be color corrected, balanced and appear as natural as possible to the original.

3. Under Exposed Images – Artists, who submit underexposed images of their art, will result in not being selected for our art shows. Besides being difficult to see, evaluate and to judge, this type of presentation of an artist’s art will not be shown to anyone who visits our website.

4. Images With Digital Markings – Art which is submitted to us which contains any digital markings on the face of the image will not be used in our shows, no matter how good that we think that the art is. Any digital marks with dates and other Meta data simply detracts, not only from the art and but also from the show’s overall appearance, presentation and will not be considered to be included.

5. Images with Watermarks – Any art which is submitted with watermarks will not be used by our art gallery. Watermarks do not allow us to judge the art fully, as a watermark takes away from our goal of having the most professional and best online art show that there is on the internet. This issue also holds true for any art which contains any large artist signatures or signs. If we like the art, and believe that is “show worthy” we will try to crop it out, but if not, it is just better to submit to us the purest form of your art that there is without any watermarks.

Many artists believe that by having watermarks or large signatures on their art that this will protect them from someone stealing their art on the internet. We believe that a 1000 pixel wide x 100 resolution image (that is what any of the art on our website gets resized to for our shows) when printed will produce a 10” wide image of rather poor quality and an image that is not worth reproducing.

If as an artist, you are afraid that someone will steal your art and then you should take all of your art off the internet right now, as I guarantee, that eventually someone will do this to you. It just the way the internet is! However, since we all need the internet, the best thing to do is to at least make the posted art of such quality, in order to not make it worthwhile for the thief to steal.

These are submission problems that we commonly see and these exmaples will cause us to reject someone’s particular art. There are articles on this website that can help you improve your presentations and there are also many free programs on the internet that you can download or use that will allow you to enhance your art when submitting for any art exhibitions and art shows.

A good reproduction of your art may mean the difference between getting into an important art gallery, art exhibition or for making a sale of your art. Therefore, it is well worth the time to take to learn how to improve your art presentations and art submissions and have them done the right way.

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