Saturday, January 09, 2010

Blog stoppers?

Tripod's box

While entering a piece into a local juried competition, I noticed that they had included some restrictions on electronic visibility of entered pieces.  A piece could not have been shown previously on a blog, website, Facebook, etc. or it would be disqualified.  This seems to be a fairly new restriction and I wonder what situation prompted it.

Perhaps they are eliminating any potential for jury members to have previously viewed the piece, as all pieces are presented anonymously, especially as the art community in the province is relatively small and artists known.  However, does this restrict what I put on my blog in future for readers to view?

I don't plan a piece for any particular exhibit or competition.  Out of 50 paintings, perhaps 20% will be suitable to go further, but I won't know that until I have completed the piece.  At that point, I may have shared the creative process with my readers.

Juried exhibits and competitions are tightening up entry rules significantly in the last couple of years, and often for the appropriate reasons.  It protects the artists and ensures that  work presented is original.  Restrictions on work produced in art workshops is often refused as well as work that has been critiqued in online art forums.

So where do I draw the line?   Do I only show pieces and construction of pieces that I believe don't make the cut, even if I don't know what is or if the cut exists until its complete?  Do I show process only and not the final product?  Do I show sketches or studies only and tutorials?  Do I write about art only and show no pieces?

Who is making the rule book for visibility of art pieces in the electronic world and the real world?  Do juried competitions or exhibitions that you submit work to have restrictions on the electronic exposure of a piece prior to submission?


Ann said...

I have not yet heard of that restriction for show entries. Seems a bit unreasonable to me. I can't imagine trying to plan ahead of time which pieces will be entered in shows and which can be blogged. And not even posting work on your own website?

Sydney Harper said...

I think that's part of the problem. There is no rule book. The internet and technology have made it a whole new world and groups are kind of feeling their way to find out what works.

Teresa Mallen said...

Like Ann, I too question the notion of not being able to post work on your own website. Wow.

The shows and exhibitions I have encountered stipulate that the work must be solely that of the artist. If photo references are used they must be taken by the artist and it is expected that the artwork has not been influenced by the opinions of others. Receiving 'helpful' feedback on a blog is considered unacceptable. Of course in some cases it would be difficult to prove that the artist did change the direction of their work following a helpful suggestion or a critique. Therefore I believe that it is generally understood that this matter in many cases rests with the conscience of the artist making the submission.

I do post my work as wips on my blog but I find I do not receive critiques or suggestions for changes in the comments. I do not solicit them either (for example I do not ask what people think about how the work is progressing, do they like the background etc.). When I work on a piece that I believe will be submission worthy I ask that commentors refrain from 'helpful' comments. My next piece is one that I might submit to the CPSA exhibition and I shall be asking readers to watch their words in the comments. Of course I am not as prolific in my output as you are Jeanette and such regular admonitions to your blog readers might get old very quickly for you! :-)

"JeanneG" said...

The box says B.U.M. and Tripod has his turned to the camera. Very funny.

Sarah said...

wow, never heard of that before, maybe it is the art establishment getting worried about the power of blogs and facebook for artists, it used to be that the galleries, art critics and exhibition juries were the ones who basically said a yay or nay to an artists artistic success but now their power is slipping, same with the publishing houses and writers. I hope the trend dosnt catch on as I think it is wonderful to be able to see and "talk" to so many talented folk. If that rule gathers momentum then "blog savvy" artists will just have to come up with their own big prestige exhibitions with huge money prises from thats something to think on!

Jennifer Rose said...

I didn't even notice the text on the box until Jeanne commented. lol very cute pic :)

I've never heard of competitions having that in the rules before but I'm not surprised. With many competitions cracking down on entries that are not solely of the artist, its a progression that I can see a lot of competitions going towards.

If it does become more common, there will be a lot less wonderful art to see online :/

Unknown said...

This very rule left me without anything to submit this year to A & A. Like you I share what I've been creating on my blog and I usually show what I perceive as the better not the weaker pieces.

I'm sure something must have come up last year for the rules to change. I must try to find out what. Certainly anyone who blogs is put in a negative position. I guess for next year we'll have to plan better.

RH Carpenter said...

I think competitions are cracking down because they have been burned in the past by unscrupulous entries and they are trying to cover themselves. I'm unsure what the problem is with blogging your work - should we all stop, like you say, or only show our bad stuff that probably won't be worthy to get into a show/competition. Seems an odd requirement to me. Maybe it has nothing more to it than the small community and the power of the internet to share art around the world - they want the paintings shown to be anonymous, not well known by someone(s) who follow certain blogs? Maybe you could ask why this requirement is in place? I would be curious to hear the answer - I certainly hope it isn't a trend that is coming down the road.

Jeanette Jobson said...

I'm glad others agree with my puzzlement over why work that will be submitted to competitions or exhibits not be shared electronically prior to submission/approval.

I too hope that it will not become a trend for the future as it would spell the death knell for artists who blog.

I shall try to find the answer as to why the rules were changed too and I am most willing to challenge it.

Gina Cuff said...

Hi Jeanette, I got around this by creating something specifically for the competition. I like what I have created this time so it works for me.

Making A Mark said...

I think the art competitions have totally misssed the point here.

The people who make the rules about the way things work on the Internet are the people who use the Internet. I don't mean we can break laws or breach copyright - but if art competitions want to limit themselves in this way then they won't be getting a lot of entries from artists who are on the internet!

Thw "wisdom of crowds" as to how people want to operate both now and in the future is a lesson learned the hard way by
* newspapers (Rupert Murdoch rails against the internet but I think he's possibly lost the plot!);
* the music industry - remember when they wrote off singles? Now artists are talking about never producing another album and just releasing singles to the internet as and when they write them
* advertising - is moving online and totally undermining the business model of both media and TV
* retail - the amount of retail which is going online is climbing every year and will soon become exponental. (Especially if the big freeze in the UK continues!)

All the above is happening because the opportunity exists for us to decide how we want to do business.

Now if art competitions think they can resist the will of the masses, good luck to them - because somebody else will spot a gap in the market and exploit it if they continue to behave like this.

Personally, I think art societies and art competitions would both be much better engaged in working out ways in which they can cut costs for artists and increase engagement and the number of entries to art competition by utilising the internet to assiste with the selection process.

Making A Mark said...

I forgot to add - this post is listed as MUST READ on today's 'who's made a mark this week?'! :)

Jeanette Jobson said...

Well, that's one option Gina. I guess I am not forward thinking enough to plan and execute a piece that I hope will turn out to be suitable quality.

Katherine, I agree with your comments. Electronic media is here and now and here to stay. This restriction may be for this competition only (and I hope so) but my concerns are if it expands how it can ultimately affect artists who also write blogs and share work with the world.

Thanks for sharing this information on your blog.

Billie Crain said...

I think they should direct this problem toward the judges. They should select judges that don't use or have access to the internet. They can't be that hard to find. I was surprised at how many artists in my area that don't use the 'net at all and people actually still exist that don't go near a computer. What a shock!

Leslie Hawes said...

Rather than a death knell for artists that blog, it might be a death knell for competitions with too many restrictions on artists.

I would be more than curious to know the rationale used to add that rule. Maybe the "anonymous" nature of the competition prompted it, and with enough questioning of the validity of the rule, from the artist's point of view, they would re-think judging in an anonymous fashion.

sue said...

I totally don't understand their rationale for these rules. Rules for rules' sake don't make sense to me, and I can't figure out what they are thinking here. Maybe enough people will be upset about it and they'll re-think things. I hope so!

Your cat is adorable here.

Jo Castillo said...

If they restrict blogs, etc., what about pieces that have been in other shows? Many artists enter a good piece in several shows and are shown on a website or brochure. Very interesting.

Jan said...

Did you ever get any kind of explanation about this silly rule? I don't enter competitions or anything and guess I'd be even more reluctant to do so with rules like that.

It may come down to artists having to paint something specifically for every show such as Gina suggested. Like Jo said, where does that leave entries in multiple shows? I've heard that what may be seemingly rejected for one show would be enthusiastically embraced in another - are they going to limit that kind of opportunities for artists?

Anyway, hope you'll post any further information on this.

Jeanette Jobson said...

No, I haven't heard any more about this and to be honest haven't had time to pursue it. I will be asking when/if my piece is selected or rejected. So stay tuned.