Hello... So I've been selected as a winner in ArtSlant's 1st Showcase Competition this year, not only that but I also was selected as the juried winner of the Abstract category! Blimey, I was pretty surprised and pleased, I'm sure you can tell by my banging on about it here!!
The ArtSlant Showcase series is a pretty different soft of competition, so when you're selected as a winner in your category, in effect you're shortlisted for the main win - which is the juried win (if that makes sense). I like it, it's extremely cheap to enter ($3), and if you get selected as one of the initial winners (the shortlist), then you pay your entry fee ($20) which they then use as a premium placement type thing, so your work will be randomly on their homepage on and off for a month.
Like I said, I do like this way of doing things, it's so expensive being an artist and competitions feel like they're a form of artist gambling (well they were in the past for me!), I used to spend so much of my money entering competitions back when I was starting out, and when you tot up all the driving around to drop work here and there it adds up...
I only enter free or very cheap competitions these days because I felt as though I was just chucking my money down the drain. I understand that competitions help galleries in terms of funding and hey, they've got to fund themselves somehow! But still, I'd much rather I had my £10 and £25 entry fees to spend on the boys instead! There are loads of decent free exhibiting opportunities out there if you're willing to look for them.

I also got a Special Recognition award in Light, Space and Time Gallery's Annual 'All Women' art competition. LST Gallery is an online space and they run themed competitions every month. In a sense, if your work is selected then you're a winner of some sort, everyone shown gets an accolade. It's a lovely supporting sort of space​, I highly recommend it to all artists. I like that they're not snobby about whether an artist is self taught or has been through the University mincer, often in the past, the type of competitions I would enter were those frightfully clever ones where your painting has to push the boundaries and be brainey and raise questions or not actually be painting but be weird stuff stuck to a canvas, but that side of the art scene in the UK really puts me off and makes me feel terrible about my painting, like it's not good enough? I don't know if any of that made sense? It's like there are two types of paintings here in the UK, work that is made to decorate homes and work that is worth adding to the art history books (or at least trying to get itself and its maker into the art history books!). It's taken me a long time to get over my feelings of inadequacy and sadness that I was never going to be one of those artists who'd get shown in one of the John Moores Painting Prize exhibitions - I genuinely used to feel sad about that! Ha ha, talk about first world problems eh?

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