Here in GIILife we have an award competition and it made me think about competitions.. what else were you expecting!
Along with other tips like “read only left-hand pages”, in his Manifesto for growth Bruce Mao included a tip that I keep wondering about. It is "Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you." While I agree with most of his ideas – often they are surprising and make you change your perspective – I really think that competitions are good for you, especially if you’re an artist of any kind. Here’s why.
Limitations are good for your art.
I know a lot of people are ready to disagree. But allow me to explain – I really think that having some kind of a limit – be it theme, medium, etc – will often make you create completely new and fresh ideas. You can only think of what’s already inside your mind, so having someone tell you a new course of thinking can be exciting. And I believe that you can easily surprise yourself with this kind of new direction of thought.
It’s a good working experience.
Because not having a deadline will often result in you dragging your work until the end of time. You know the drill – you feel like you need to add something here, to change that part of another, then the title is not right and before you know it, you spend so much time on your work that you completely lose your first impulse and idea. So, a deadline can and will teach you discipline – you need to concentrate, make the best of your time, and then submit your work without thinking if there’s something else you need to perfect.
It’s good for your CV.
That’s pretty self-explanatory. Having a nice award in your CV will never get old. Also, with the prize you can sponsor your next project, get equipment, or travel a bit to broaden your horizons, which is something you always need to think about. Also, in the course of the competition or after, you will often meet new artists that you can collaborate with.
So, please, do enter competitions – it’s good for you. Oh, and while we’re on it, it’s also a nice idea to read the right-hand pages of books as well.