Monday, February 28, 2011

Missing the Point

I'm a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, a great group of talented artists that focuses on the medium of (what else?) colored pencil. The work of some of these artists leaves me absolutely breathless.

It quickly became a goal of mine to have artwork accepted to their annual international exhibit. Along with the exhibit, the accepted pieces are also showcased in the CPSA membership magazine, called "To the Point". Because I am not usually in a location to attend the annual exhibit, that issue has become a highlight in my year.

Somehow, that goal took on the flavor of an "ultimate" goal. Once that happened, I would "really" be an artist and would have professional confirmation and would cruise ahead with my other art goals and become famous and never step in a puddle or have to smell a bad odor again in my life. (Or something like that.) It became a BIG DEAL.

So last year, I once again submitted a piece to them and - wonder of wonders - it was accepted! I was thrilled!

Or would have been if I'd known about it.

Unfortunately, a mis-communication on the entry site meant that I did not see the notice of my acceptance. I found out about my acceptance when the curator of the exhibit contacted me via the CPSA co-ordinator to find out why my artwork hadn't arrived at the gallery. The exhibit opened TOMORROW, and I was 300 miles from my studio.

Needless to say, I was devastated for a time. "Aaaaggggghhhhh!" was the sentiment that kept running through my head. But eventually my husband interrupted my plans for hara-kiri and I decided I had a lesson to learn. And I eventually also decided to share it so hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake besides me:

When you're entering something, make sure you find all the information!

Entry deadline, entry requirements, date writers/artists will be notified, HOW they will be notified, when winners will be announced, etc. If you enter online, make sure the image/document is attached. Ask if there's something that doesn't seem to have gone through correctly. Make a note on the calendar and pay attention!

That's about it. It can always be hoped that an exhibit or competition will keep us updated and notified as events happen. But ultimately the onus is on us to be as responsible for our own work as we possibly can.

So when the exhibit issue of To the Point arrived a couple weeks ago, it was a bittersweet moment. But I intend to try again. And we'll see what happens.

No comments: