Why? Well, to become rich and famous! Shur-r-r-re, that's it.
Uh -- but seriously, I've been entering some juried shows the last few years just as a sort of personal challenge. There's a certain warm fuzzy in getting an image or two through jurying by somebody who has no idea who I am -- especially if only 10 or 12% of the submitted images get into the show. Of course, sometimes they don't get in, that can be a downer, but I've already had the experience of having work declined from one show accepted into another. It's a crap shoot.
The possibility of significant cash prizes certainly doesn't discourage me, but I'm way too aware that only a small percentage of those few that get in actually win prizes. As with paintings, I've found it is sometimes helpful to see my own work next to others, especially since I'm a bit of a hermit and tend to work by myself. Usually those comparisons evaluate to suggest I'm not as good as I might have wished, but it's an important data point. The last two years I have volunteered to sit a couple of afternoons with a fairly prestigious show. That occasionally provides an opportunity to meet some of the other artists, and sometimes I've gotten some interesting feedback from visitors about work by myself or others. It's a few steps along the path in what I hope is a continuous learning process (even at my advanced age!)
The exhibitions I've entered are also sales opportunities, although so far it's good I'm not depending on that for food!
I haven't done so, but I guess in most cases, since they are prints, you could enter the same image in several places. Unless the potential award is to have your work used for some application, in which case the sponsors might want "exclusive" stuff. For me, having eight different framed prints ready to cover four overlapping exhibitions earlier this year was part of the personal challenge aspect.
Edit: Re-reading I note you did say "contests" I suppose they could be considered different from juried exhibitions, although in my mind it's all a continuum.
Last edited by DWThomas; 08-21-2009 at 01:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.