I have always been enraged by art contests. I had a teacher named Carla Collette in animation school, who started a discussion about art contests, she gave us this speech about how illogical they were for any other profession, it makes no sense and it is quite demeaning.
Now if you want to enter a contest for fun, hey by all means, I have entered karaoke contests, potato sack races, and even a fork licking contest, for FUN! I would never stop fun, or say get rid of contests, I like winning!
BUT when companies EXPLOIT contests to be able to pick and choose from a pile of work done, this is utter and complete bullshit. I have seen it for logos, artwork, pitching animated shows!!!! How much free work are you able to squeeze out of artists who most likely would like to get paid for their work. This holds true for student work too. Students do not need YOUR contest exposure unless you are PIXAR. Oh you are not PIXAR, then bugger off, I’m going to pitch my idea to PIXAR, or ANY NUMBER OF STUDIOS AND NETWORKS accepting pitches right now. We live in a world where people are screaming for content MORE MORE MORE. There is no need for you to enter a contest, there is someone, somewhere, who will pay you for your idea. This is the truth. Because most people have no ideas, no clues, they have stopped using their imaginations long ago. Most people don’t take risks, or think outside the rules of society <– THIS is what artists get paid for.
Let’s say I have a carpenter contest, and get everyone to build me a house, then I go around and pick the house I want to live in and pay for, and the rest, sorry, you lose, all that work you did, for nothing, oh but I got you exposure and you get to keep the house you worked on, try to sell it to someone else. How about I have a contest for fill in any job here and guess what, it is still ridiculous.
I entered an animation “contest” once, well it wasn’t a contest, because EVERYONE got some software and a wacom tablet, and EVERYONE got their work put on TV together. I think this is a good way to do something fun and collaborative AND it benefited the programming by providing content. Everyone WINS!!!
What I am saying is, that when you are making a deal the terms need to be even. Contest holders are GETTING to CHOOSE something very valuable, and that a lot of work has gone into. Even if the work has taken a short time to create, it has taken that short amount of time because of experience the artist has gained.
What can I do about it Tara? Well I’m glad you asked artist friend! It all starts with you lucky bug! Don’t enter any contests where you are not explicitly benefitting from it an equal amount or greater than what you are putting in. DON’T DO WORK FOR FREE. If you are putting in a lot of effort with little reward, it’s not a good thing.
see the math is all here
- Z= Your Time & Energy
- X=What you get, win or lose
- Y=Fun you will have
So after having this big discussion about art contests in college, my teacher Carla, proceeded to tell us about this art contest that she was entering one of her works! HAHAHA but it was too late I was already a convert! Have I ever entered an art contest? damn straight I have, I’ve especially entered ones I’m sure I will win 🙂 Because winning is FUN too! HAHAHA
Tara Audibert is an artist, film maker, comic illustrator, consultant, and just a Jill of all Trades. She co-hosts the podcast No Such Thing as Grown Ups along with Curtis Carey and a bunch of other stuff too Animations, Finger Puppet Sitcoms, Prepping with Puppets,comics, poetry books, children’s books and so much more! www.nosuchthingasgrownups.com