If you have then probably, like me, you may have had a bit of a shock. Here are some of the reasons why the costs can mount up without you noticing and why it can be so expensive:
- you're paying entry fees AND commission on sales
- you're not submitting to a local gallery and it's not a short local drive in the car. You've often got to get the artwork to a place a long way from home. This involves packing costs and shipping/travel costs which you don't normally have to pay - often both ways if the work is not accepted or doesn't sell.
- the competition isn't from your locality - it's often national or international and there's hundreds if not thousands of people all competing to get their artwork into the exhibition
- this exhibition is prestigious and the artwork needs a frame which looks good - and unless you've worked out to keep a handle on costs that can be expensive
It really made me start paying attention to pricing and to the scope to manage costs (eg buying frames which were standard sizes rather than custom made so that they can be reused with the mats custom made - by me). Setting the costs out on paper helped me to focus on what costs could be better managed, what costs could be eliminated and what costs you just had to take on the chin.
I've created a spreadsheet to help artists calculate the real cost of entering a juried art competition or open exhibition
A Making A Mark Guide: Analysing the cost of entering a juried art exhibition - is available from my website. The spreadsheet automatically summarises costs and produces overall totals and net cost or profit.
|Analysing the cost of entering a juried art exhibition - Practice Worksheet|
- the costs of entering a juried exhibition - and how much you're spending on 'marketing' your work if it doesn't sell
- the net gain if you sell the work
- a proforma template (yellow tab) which you can tailor to your own needs if you know how to use Excel. Just copy the whole sheet over to a new sheet to start a calculation.
- a worked example for a work which sold (blue tab)- gives you the net gain on which taxes are payable
- a worked example for a work which did NOT sell (red tab) - to give to you the total potential cost of
- NOT submitting your best work
- and/or NOT making a realistic assessment of your chances of getting work accepted
- a practice worksheet (green tab) which you can use again and again just be eliminating the data in the "enter data" column
Don't worry if you make a mess of it - you can always download it again!
If you're used to using spreadsheets, you should find it fairly self-explanatory. Your cost data is entered in the green column in the practice sheet and the summary costs are then calculated automatically.
Do please let me know if you have any queries
Links to more resources for artists
- PAGES on this blog (see just under the title)
- POSTS on this blog
- 20 tips for entering art competitions
- Juried art competitions - does size matter?
- Selection, jurying and must see lists
- Making A Mark (the website) : Making A Mark Guides and Publications - Making A Mark Guides , Checklists and Articles (FREE to download - for personal use only / not for reproduction)
- Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists