To compete or not to compete? For artists looking to promote their art – and their bank balances – that is the question. The answer? It depends. Competitions can be a great way to promote art, but there are costly pitfalls to avoid.

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Competitions as a way to promote art

I personally am very selective about the art competitions that I choose to enter. In my earlier years I used to enter just about anything, simply because the prizes were so enticing. All competitions have a fee associated with entry, so do your homework, make sure you know if the prize is for you, and make sure the fee is not beyond your budget. Also be aware that usually the artist is paying for freight costs back and forth for these competitions. Read through the entry form and conditions thoroughly and ask around to see if the particular prize is reputable and recognized. If the prize is an international prize, check into the details very clearly. Many young artists have fallen prey to paying large fees and attending exhibitions and competitions internationally because of the perceived boost for their career and recognition, only to later discover that the particular exhibition was not what they thought it was.

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