First of all, let me say that I am not in any way trying to bash a certain design contest site, or to praise some other. This post will be about the things I like when entering the contest and about the ones that bother me – and others.
Let’s start posi: As an artist/designer, you SHOULD enter contests with your work because competition drives people to performance. Being surrounded by other artists, competing with people who have more experience than you – these are factors that will usually give you a push towards getting better.
I just decided to balance things out and talk about the disadvantages beginner artists will have to deal with. First of all, it can be discouraging. Very much so. Buuut, don’t forget, most of the people entering the contest have way more experience than you in doing exactly this, some of them are incredibly gifted and produce excellent artwork without sweating too much, but most of them started out just like you and continuously improved.
Another thing that hurts when starting out is critique… harsh one to be precise. As it turns out there are people out there that will take a dump on your work- excuse my French – just for the sake of doing so. And you need to be able to cope with this if you want to move on.
Another great thing about contests is that they usually give huge exposure. There are tons of people on these sites that look and vote the designs, some of them just interested in this as prospective buyers, others scouting for talents, so, both ways, the contests give you a chance to put your name out there. You must remember, when you start it out, don’t expect to get as many comments/votes as those who already have people following their work.
The negative aspect of this situation is that usually people who are better social-players and are good at making friends have the advantage over those who – even though better artists – suck at social networking. Translation: be a great artist, but act like a total jackass and you’ll lose the support of people voting. Also, people who are good at both art and have social skills, usually are way better received and have a pretty solid fan-base who helps them when they need votes…which is to say…all the time:).
I will keep this article short, in order to make a better impression on your minds, but this is only part one of a series of two or three posts (Now, it depends on your feedback. If you want to talk about these things, there will be more…if not…) and next one highlights voting systems and their faults/advantages.