Friday, January 3, 2014

Biting the Bullet

                                                                          by Kelli Pope

For any of you who do art shows, you know what a waiting game it can be.   You send in a jury fee with your application and pictures, then wait... and wait.... and wait to see if you were accepted.  As many of the larger shows move their application process to Zapplication, the process can get even more nerve wracking.  If you're anything like me, you aspire to be at the REALLY big, well known shows... the ones all the artists, and loyal show followers talk about.  For a few years, I've applied for some of the biggies in my area. While I've made it into a few, (sniffle,sniffle) I have been denied by many.  Rejected.  Not wanted.  Not good enough.  Turned down......BAH!!!   It can be quite tough on the self-esteem!  Jewelry is a VERY VERY VERY tough category. (One show I applied to last year had over 400 jewelry applicants vying for 71 jewelry booth spots.)    It is highly competitive and can be difficult to get your foot in the door.    I have very arrogantly...?... lazily..?... CHEAPLY gone the easy route,  and shot my own photos to submit to Zapplication.  

Here is what Zapplication suggests for your photos:

**Formatting Your Images

Image Specifications
Please follow these specifications  in order to attach these images to your application successfully.
  1. Recommended Dimensions: 1920 pixels on the longest side.
    Note: To assist artists who do not have images that are 1920 pixels or larger, the system will also accept images that are at least 1400 pixels on the longest side.
  2. File Format: Save all images as Baseline Standard JPEG. Do not save as a Progressive JPEG.
  3. File Size: JPEGs should be around 2.0 MB in size.
  4. Resolution: 72 dpi
    Note: This resolution size will assist in lowering the file size
  5. Color space: Save images in RGB color space, preferably sRGB.

Options for Formatting Your Images
  • You can use a photo editing program or software to help you format your images successfully. The options below are some of the most widely used programs or software.
    • Adobe Photoshop (the industry standard photographer’s tool set)
    • Adobe Photoshop Elements (offers fewer tools than the full version, but allows for formatting images to ZAPP® specifications at a lower price point). DOWNLOAD TUTORIAL
    • Mac Users: The application “Preview” can format images to ZAPP® specifications.
    • Online Resources: Sumo, Aviary, and Pixlr are some of the few websites out there that offer image editing right in the browser.
  • Hire a professional to prepare your images. Click HERE to see a list of digital imaging resources, photographers, and vendors who help artists photograph their work and format their photos. ***
(here is the link, if you would like to learn more and view some of the dos and don'ts - )

The first time I looked into this years ago, I think my eyes crossed.  TOO much technical info for us creative types. But after a few rejections, yes, I followed the formatting instructions, and resubmitted photos.  But I was still not thrilled with my images, and believe they may be holding me back.    A friend of mine, Leslie, also a jewelry artist, recently hired a professional photographer, and her images    are    fabulous   !!!  
That did it.  I decided it was time for me to bite the bullet, pony up the money, and 
just DO IT!  

So, this week, despite my highly anticipated vacation from the studio, I've been glazing.  I've been designing.  This weekend will be devoted to making 6 of my best pieces EVER (I hope, I hope, I hope), which  will then be shipped off to a professional photographer.    After that it will be in the jurors hands.  As Leslie and I discussed, this is it.  Step up to the plate.  Time for reckoning.  With awesome, perfectly formatted images if we are then still not "chosen" to attend, then it's time to face facts... the photos were NOT the problem!  (say it ain't so!!!)  

Here a few pics of this mornings kiln opening. Hopefully with some of these beads and  pendants magic will happen!!   Stay tuned to the next post for some of the final products.  :)
Yay! Color!
(still can NOT get the glaze to work on those leaves, dang it!)


stacilouise said...

I hear you! I really want to submit for books and magazine galleries, but my pics are not near up to par. I really need to do the same thing!!!

Shaiha said...

It seems are those pictures are the biggest issue to most of us. I am not even trying to get into a show but my pics for my blog are not the best..sigh...

Good luck on getting in.

Cheryl Roe said...

You are so talented, it was refreshing to hear you discuss a very real issue with most jewelry artists. I was turned down this year by a show and asked for some help understanding the reasons one of them was competition (which I could handle) but one of them was my booth photo. So I visited this show and was horrified at some of the booths that they thought were ok. So maybe my booth photo was the problem. It would be hard to get the photographer to come and fix that. I will have to study on it some more.

Shel said...

It is an extremely daunting process. Having juried for the Tempe Festival of the Arts, ranked one of the top 200 art festivals in the Nation, I can tell you first hand that the photographs submitted and failure to following all the instructions to the "T" were what kept some very talented artists out of the show. Professional photos can help a great deal, as does the professional set up of your booth (must have a photo of that for the Tempe show) as well as your description of what it is exactly that you create. The people behind the show need to see to it that it's a success, so finding out what has sold well in the past and what 'trends' might be happening in that specific venue might be a wise thing to look into. ;-) I wish you success this go around. It's so stressful to go through all you do to get accepted, but it's worth it once you're in.

Kelli said...

Cheryl, take a look at the suggested photographers on th Zapp site. There is a man listed who specializes in pics for Zapplication, and can reformat YOUR own pictures. He has examples on his site Sorry, don't remember his name.

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