Recently I was asked if the effort, costs, and time put into art competitions was worth it.
To me it seemed an open-ended question with pros and cons for both sides of the debate.
The local art competitions are a great way of not only sales, but also of increasing your confidence and pushing your artistic boundaries. If you attend the opening night, it is also a great way of networking with other local artists and increasing not only your exposure as an artist but also your exposure to other art. It also opens up opportunities for other group exhibitions and collaborative works with similar artists.
If you look into the bigger competitions with bigger prize money my advice is to go for one that really piques your interest and stimulates your creativeness. Research prior works that have made the finalists and stay true to your own art. I know many artists who only enter a few high ranked competitions and over the years have seen their names increase in recognition and respect as artists.
If you stay true to yourself as an artist and find the competition challenging and exciting, then go for it. You will sometimes get knocked back on the selection criteria and this is often disappointing, but on those occasions, you do make the selection that is the most amazing feeling. You may not be a winner of the competition or the people’s choice, but you moved someone enough to say hey this work needs to be in this show.