I’m currently enrolled in a National Photography Contest with FineArtAmerica.com. This is one sexy contest with a very big prize. The work is judged by world renowned photographer Anne Geddes and the winners will star in a new flashy television advertising campaign for Fine Art America. Photographers are allowed to enter up to three images and each one that receives 250 votes from the general public advances to the judging round. As you can imagine, this has been an absolutely brilliant marketing campaign for Fine Art America as thousands of photographers are pounding the pavement of social media, scrambling for enough votes to have a shot of glory. On the flip side, what could have been a contest that is solely based on artistic achievement has turned into somewhat of a popularity contest that has left many of the participants gnashing their teeth and tearing their clothes.
When was the last time your lips uttered the ugly words “Its Not Fair”? Be totally honest now. We are all guilty of hosting Pity Parties occasionally and when we do, we invite everyone. Misery loves company and having company means surrounding ourselves with other “victims”. The problem is that when the party is over, nothing has changed for the better and the hangover can be hell. Take Kanye West for instance. Fame and fortune are in his grip, yet he has a big enough chip on his shoulder to possess him to make an ass of himself at the Grammy Awards, twice. Whats going through the guys mind that makes him want to put on a whiney baby face on national TV and basically say “Wah Wah Wah, It’s not fair”?
I have to admit, It wasn’t real pretty when I realized that I didn’t have the social moxie to get more than a few votes for my work. Goodbye Limousines and Red Carpet. With two days to go there is very little chance I’ll come up with the 250 vote ante to get into the game. So what do I do now? Do I pull a “Kanye” and whine about the process or do I choose to see the glass half full and find a way to top it off? Finally, I’m able to step back from my blind ambition and see what the contest is really all about. Here are three ways that I’m a winner just for showing up.
1. I have been motivated to ramp up my own marketing efforts. If you have a look at my recent post called “Facebook and the Art of Shameless Self Promotion”, you will see that my wheels are turning. Welcome to the real world Boys and Girls. Talent and Hard work are admirable but it is Marketing that will unlock the door to success. Marketing is the reason that a particular work of art might sell for $1500 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and only $150 on Santa Fe Street in Denver, Colorado. Marketing is a big deal and I want to get better at it. I want to be a guy who can get that 250 votes next time.
2. Taking the time to work my way through 2500 images with a critical eye has inspired me tremendously. Napoleon Hill said “Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive”. This process has given me a very real opportunity to rub elbows with a lot of talented Photographers there is nothing wrong with letting some of their energy and originality rub off on moi.
3. I’ve realized that its not all about me! Look what just fell into my lap, an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and talent of a handful of my peers right here in my very own blog. When I started Art Spirit Village a few years back, I envisioned a space that promoted Imagination, Inspiration and Transformation. It’s my hope that the photographers that I’m featuring in this post will feel validated at least a little bit more than they would have otherwise. I think their work is awesome.
With less than two days to go only about 100 of 2500 images have received enough popular votes to advance to the leader board. In other words, 99.5 percent of the entries will not even be considered by Anne Geddes. Hey Losers! Welcome to the Art Spirit Village Virtual Gallery. Come in and have a look at some of the images that won my 22 votes (I only posted the ones that I had permissions for). Stroll through the halls, look at the walls even have a seat as you really study your favorite image. My selections are skewed toward my preference for landscape and nature. If you see something you like, click on it and off you go to a page where you can learn about the photographer, see their entire gallery and have a chance to purchase relatively inexpensive reproductions of their work.
If you prefer other styles and genres, head over to the contest gallery, you will be amazed with the diversity. If you are an Artist and you have never visited the Fine Art America site before, I think you will be impressed.
Which one is your favorite?
If you have any comments about this post or this contest, please send it my way. Thanks for the visit!