By Natalie Saar

Putting your art out there can be scary; all of the emotions that go along with how it will be received can be enough to hold many artists back. And submitting it to a contest or organization can be even harder, since the chance of rejection is always looming. 

But there’s good news! With a little time and effort, you can present yourself and your artwork in the best possible light, upping your chances of being accepted. That’s what RAW wants to help artists do: showcase their art and kick start their careers. Now, there are a few essentials to being considered for showcases.

On the submission form, you’re asked to fill out basic information about you and your art. Share your motivation for showcasing, mention what inspires you and what your aspirations are as an artist. Don’t forget to provide contact information too, because that’s how you’ll be told you’re in! 

You’ll also want to provide links to your website, portfolio and social media channels. Which brings up some major things to address in your strategy.

Be present online.
Having an online presence is a great way to show that you’re serious about your art. After all, that’s the message you want to get across – that you’re ready to take the next step and put your art out there. Bonus points if you have your contact info, like an email, publicly available since it shows that you’re eager to connect with people about opportunities. 

Have a focus.
Within your online presence, you’ll want to have a cohesive thread amongst your works. This shows that you’ve not only put thought into your art but also how you’re displaying it to the public. Don’t be afraid to get personal through these channels too. If a piece is reflective of something you’re passionate about, let your audience know. Reviewers will take note of this and know that you’re the real deal. 

Be professional.
It may take a little bit of practice, and maybe even a photography class, but make sure you document your work with high quality photos. Taking pride in your work means no Snapchat filters, no low quality crowd recordings of you singing on stage, and no mixed messages. Also make sure your account is for the business of art and post personal pictures on a different one. The final key to making sure your Instagram, Twitter, etc. are in tip top professional shape is to be consistent. You don’t have to post multiple times a day, or even every day, but post regularly. This shows reviewers that you’re interested in the business of art. 

Finally, if you have professional training, show it off! You worked hard to go to school, and while you may also be partially self-taught, it’s important to let people know. This is just one more way to show that you take your art career seriously. If your work has technical, learned elements to it, don’t be shy to call them out. 

What Do Curators Say?
Tips and tricks of the trade are great, but you’re probably wondering what actual curators are looking for. Here’s what they have to say:

  • “I gravitate towards artists who have a sense of direction in their work and consistency throughout their page.”
  • “A CV on their website and contact information, which indicates their desire to be reached out to.” 
  • “Visual artists that are able to bring their art into other avenues. A painter with good eye for color can easily create stunning jewelry with her own personal twist.”
  • “Dancers who have clear snippets of their original choreography/performance on Instagram and videos of their complete works on YouTube.”
  • “Artists who give others credit where credit is due, because it shows professionalism.”

Do you have a good idea of what you need to do now? Great! Once you have everything together, submit it to us. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!