Well, now that Winter is just about over, a whole new season can begin. For most people, that season is Spring and it is welcomed by all.
For artists who are busily trying to get applications into art fairs, festivals, craft fairs and other seasonal venues, you have now entered the season of Stress!It's the time of year when you get to send a bunch of faceless, nameless folk pictures of your work, what you feel about your work and a non-refundable check for jurying fees, which basically means we're paying them for the privilege of rejection.
Who comes up with these applications for these shows, anyway?After filling in our names, addresses, websites, astrological sign, favorite food and estimated weight at the time of the show, the really fun questions begin.
Please describe your work, the process or processes involved, materials and inspirations in 50 words or less.
Are you kidding me? Oh, after this question there will be a very small (SMALL!) box to fill in with our stunning insights and pearls of wisdom--or at least what we can fit in 50 words.The question practically takes up more words than we're allowed answer it with.
Please categorize your work (one choice only): Art, Glass, Jewelry, Ceramics, Woodcraft, or Other.This is a trick question, right? I can just about hear the carnival barker now, "Step right up. It's time to play 'Pick Your Pigeonhole'".
For me, I make glass jewelry which I think is art, but isn't it also glass and jewelry? (one choice only, Please)Seriously, if the show has the word "Art" in the title, then shouldn't everything be art? If I don't pick Art from the list, am I out completely? What about the poor folks who pick Woodcraft? Since craft is in their name do they get automatically rejected?
At least I don't have to pick Other.
Please submit three photos of your work.OK, this seems simple enough, right? You've been working all year creating one fabulous piece after the other, now pick three (and only three) to represent you in front of our panel of esteemed judges (which we don't know).
If we pick the more elaborate and detailed pieces to showcase our talents, they might think "it's just not right for our attendees". But, if we pick the pieces that are generally popular and should sell well we run the risk of "it's very nice, but not really special enough for our attendees".Or better yet...
Please submit three photos of your work as slides.Slides, really? Who can take slides anymore? Where would you get them developed and on what would we display them on?
If I were 10 years younger I probably wouldn't even know what slides are. This is the digital age, take a CD or prints at least.
Fortunately, in lieu of slides, oil paintings and cave drawings are also valid and acceptable forms of pictorial represenation of our work.Special Requests or Needs?
"Yeah, I'd like to be accepted into your show."
I would love to see what other vendors put down for this one. I'm always afraid to put anything in it since I don't want to appear to be: needy, picky, pushy, demanding, high-maintenance, self-important, entitled, arrogant, a PITA or any other horrible descriptor you can think up. I'm trying to put my best foot forward and hoping to get into a show, so I'll just leave that one blank.Is that a rookie mistake?
"There are no special requests or needs listed. Obviously, he has no idea what he is doing. Reject!"
After all that, you're probably wondering if I've applied to any shows this year.Well, yes, I've applied to several this year in spite of the stress and hope and panic and self-doubt it inspires year after year. In the end, if I can get into a couple of shows, it all become worth it. I get to show my work to the public, get feedback, meet some interesting people and, with a little luck, make some money so I can do it all again next year because it is all so worth it!(after all that I'm hoping not to get black balled entirely)
Happy Stress Season, Everyone!