As part of the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize every year we offer the option for early entrants to request feedback on their application. The deadline for this in November or December each year and full details with exact dates are here: http://www.artprize.co.uk/the-prize.html/#EntryDetails
When we established the prize in 2014 we wanted to offer real benefit to all artists who enter, not just the winners. We do this by offering feedback, promoting all entrants and offering a free career development talks series with each edition, which is also a great way to meet us, the judges and each other. Details for our next talk can be seen here: http://www.artprize.co.uk/events.html
We describe this feedback as practical and tailored to each entrant, i.e. with actionable and specific tips that are written by experts who carefully review you’re individual applications. The advice we give is to support your career and profile development… but what does that mean? Below is a breakdown of what to expect if you confirm you’d like to receive that feedback.
Your feedback will be broken down into three key areas with 3 further subsections:
(1) Artist Statement
(2) Images of Artworks
(3) Image Commentaries
Within these three sections we aim to offer more in-depth feedback on particular elements, read on to see what they are and how you can maximise what you submit.
(1) ARTIST STATEMENT:
Length – We’re looking for a statement that isn’t too long or too short. What we mean by that is that you cover all the necessary information in succinct and to the point way.
Content – What have you covered in your statement? Are there any areas you could have elaborated on or included? How have you written it – is the language and tone easily understandable? This is the biggest section under the artist statement feedback. We will look at what you’ve covered in the text and whether this gives a good snapshot of you as an artist as well as look at how you have written it. Is the language simple and easy to understand or have you been overly elaborate? Does the structure flow or jump around making it hard to grasp ideas?
Grammar and Punctuation – Yes we know this is an obvious one but you’d be surprised how often this isn’t done as well as it could be! What we see the most are very long sentences, so break them up to encourage better flow of your text. And that’s what we’re looking at, that you’ve used grammar and punctuation well to give good flow to your statement, which will encourage the text to be easier to read and absorbed.
(2) IMAGES OF YOUR ARTWORK:
File quality and size – For this we are looking at whether the actual image file is of good quality. For example if compression of a file is too high it can look blurry or if the resolution is too low you may lose detail. Also if the file is very large we may have trouble opening it. We recommend sending a JPEG file with a resolution of at least 2048 x 1536 pixels, and should be around 1-3Mb. You can upload images up to 20Mb though. This will ensure your photos are optimized for our system, and looks detailed enough in case we want to zoom in and look closer.
Image Quality – Here we’re looking at things like is the photo blurry, are the colours dark or is the lighting off. All the external factors that could affect how your artwork looks to us. We’ll try to give feedback if we see this and offer solutions you could try to improve the quality next time.
Composition – Making sure the composition of the photos you take give the artwork all the focus is an obvious thing to want to achieve but again this is something we see as not done well. We’ll be looking at whether the artwork is the only thing in the shot, and that it’s clear what the artwork is. We’ll let you know if it’s not centered or if you can crop closer to the piece to make sure you’re allowing the judges the best view of your work.
(3) ARTWORK COMMENTARIES:
Length – Again we’re looking for it to be the right length to get your ideas across succinctly, so just like your artist statement try to keep this punchy and to the point. These should be much shorter than your statement,
Content – Your artwork commentaries should relate back to the ideas you presented in your statement but offer more details about the specific artwork they accompany. We’re looking for further information on the making process of this specific piece and what particular ideas you are exploring. Again try to work with a simple structure, one could be you talk about 2-3 specific ideas you are exploring in the piece, the making process and then relate this back to your wider practice.
Grammar and punctuation – this is the same as with the artist statement, use good grammar and punctuation to help the flow of your text and keep the language simple.
On top of the above we also have an extra comments section where if there is any other feedback that we feel would help you in supporting your practice we’ll add it in here.
We hope these pointers will not only support you with applications to prizes but also across a range of opportunities and help you with viewing what you present objectively so you can take control of your own development.
If you would like to receive the feedback on your entry, you MUST ENTER BEFORE THE NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER DEADLINE, and reply to your entry confirmation email by end of December confirming this.
If you have any questions you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your art,
Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize Team
Oaktree & Tiger Team
Art experts giving advice to emerging artists to build their careers and find success. Organisers of the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020, artist agent and art consultants.