Friday, September 28, 2012

Tired of gambling on juried shows with entry fees

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Sometimes I feel like my art career is like a slot machine.  I put money in it and never know if I will lose or hit the jackpot. And like a gambler, it's easy to keep thinking that this time will be different and I'll get lucky.  But  right now I am no longer convinced that the fees to enter juried shows are worth paying for the rest of this year.  I can't afford to get rejected anymore.

Getting rejected from a juried show that I paid my hard-earned money to enter really hurts right now.  When I get a response that includes those dreaded words "we received many wonderful entries but..." and I paid a fee to get such a response, it makes me mad.  I start thinking of all the other things I could have done with that money.  The fees I've paid have ranged from $15 to $60, which doesn't sound like a lot.  But they add up!  Sure, I can write them off my taxes, but I don't get a refund on it until next year.  And what am I supposed to do in the meantime when there are other things I need to buy?  What about finishing The Doll Project?  What about getting my boots repaired before the winter comes?  What about me? There are so many things I've put off paying for.  I've given up so much for my art career.  I can't afford to make another sacrifice.

And so that's why for the rest of 2012, (which I know is almost over now) I am not going to spend any more money on entry fees.  Some artists suggest budgeting for entry fees and setting aside money for entering shows.  (It's funny, some gamblers do the same thing with their casino money.) Maybe I will try that next year.  But for now, nobody is getting another dime from me to enter their juried show.  And I'm not paying to be in any co-op galleries, either.  Not until I make another big sale. There is a difference between making an investment and gambling.

I still plan to submit to art shows this year, as long as I don't have to pay for the privilege.

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