In this case, submitting is equivalent to first impressions. You want to make your art submissions look GOOD. Let’s put it this way: when submitting for any call for entries, presentation is the key. Like we mentioned in the previous etiquette post, you want to make sure you read the guidelines for submission. This will tell you what format to submit (physical, CD, or online submissions).
Here are a few tips you should take into account when submitting your digital images to an art gallery.
One of the most important things, when submitting digital images to art galleries is the presentation of the art piece. If you need to photograph your artwork make sure you photograph only the artwork. Do not include the chair, wall, or easel you are setting it on. Make sure the picture is level (straight) and that the artwork dose not appear warped (it doesn’t look like it’s curving in the middle). The purpose is to give the best idea of what your piece looks like. You want to make sure the photograph captures your artwork as close to the real thing as possible. If you are unsure about the best way/setting/camera to use to photograph your piece, research a professional artwork photographer- it’s their job to make your artwork look great in photographs. In the long run, a professional photograph of your work could be worth it for future submissions, creating prints, or using the images for business or promotional cards.
Make sure you submit a decent enough size for the art gallery to be able to appreciate the piece, especially if there are details you so painstakingly made possible, or if there are nuances to a painting, illustration or etc. that would go unnoticed in a small jpg. Here are some examples of artwork submissions:
(Too small: 150px by 200px at 300dpi)
(Decent size submission: 500px by 600 px at 300 dpi)
Secondly, we know artists want to protect their artwork, especially if the original is digital. Which is why the issue of a watermark is —well— an issue. When placing your watermark, you want it to be nearly invisible and secondary. You do not want it to take away from your artwork, especially while the curators are judging it. Obscuring just one bit can cause doubt in the minds of the curators and your piece won’t be given full consideration. You want to make sure all they see is your work, especially, again if details are involved. Here are some do’s and DEFINITELY DO NOT’S for watermarks:
(Watermark is obscuring part of the face, and is visible at once—no no.)
(Watermark is way too visible, and, although it is at the bottom, it still detracts from the work and obscures part of it. So, still a DO NOT.)
(Okay, you’re only allowed to get creative with your work, not with your watermark. Obviously, the font, size, and color are way too distracting. It would still be way too distracting in a smaller size, because of the color. SO, DO NOT USE BRIGHT COLORS FOR YOUR WATERMARK.)
(This watermark has had the opacity turned down so that it is see-through, or if you will, it has been— watered down. Yes, a bad pun, but this is what you should be doing: unobtrusive and out of the way, either grey or white in a light, nearly-zero opacity.)
(Although the watermark here is just under the eyes, you can barely tell it’s there. This is the best opacity of the watermark. It is neither obtrusive nor is it the first thing you see.)
Other things you should consider:
You want to portray your images as closely as possible to the real thing in any call for entries. If you’re going to photograph a white paper with a graphite illustration, make sure your image looks like white paper and graphite. Otherwise your art submission is misleading. Galleries will become cautious of ever working with you again because the images you submit aren’t what they thought it was.
Do not waste your art submissions by submitting piece-meal pictures of your one big piece that has multiple panels. You want to give the submissions scale and dimensions with one picture otherwise, the curators can’t picture the whole piece and they won’t be able to decide if they like it or not. This usually happens with artworks comprised of 2+ panels. Put them all together and demonstrate they are multiple panels in one shot. Get your money’s worth and submit more than one artwork for review, rather than multiple pictures of one work, for better chances on getting accepted.
Finally, but this is by no means the least important part of submitting: label your submissions as per the gallery’s requirements. It is so important to name your submissions the way the art gallery asks you to, firstly because it would be like messing your name up on your very important test. Secondly, if they don’t discard your submission, they will remember you—in a bad way. Most likely you will be branded as an artist that just makes lives and jobs harder. You don’t want that. So if a call for artists asks for dimensions, medium, and your name, city and price, you must use them as a label. It doesn’t matter how long the label ends up.
When labeling your work don’t use “, %, periods, commas, or any other punctuation mark because it will mess up the address of your image for web purposes. For example, do not label your submission YourName_2.5inches by 2.5inches.jpg The period belongs only in front of the file type. by putting in the extra punctuation (the periods) you’ve confused the file type to .5 instead of .jpg
Submitting for any call for entries all comes down to communication: make sure you give a complete picture of the way your work is supposed to look.
That’s it for now, if there’s anything you’d like us to cover that isn’t already in our FAQ’s leave us a comment or send us a Facebook message!