Tips for putting together a successful Timeraiser Art Submission

By January 28, 2014Artists, Timeraiser
I’ve been submitting with Timeraiser for 5 years and was so excited the first time my art was chosen for a show in Vancouver.  I have had 11 pieces chosen for shows across Canada and was asked by Timeraiser to share my tips for a successful submission.  I put together my top tips to help you with your submission.

1.     Take a chance – You have nothing to lose and you will never know what could be unless you start submitting!

2.    Do your research before you apply – Check the Timeraiser archives to see what art has been chosen in each city in the past.  Make sure your work is relevant to the city you are applying to.  For example, I paint lots of Vancouver Cityscape paintings but I would never submit that to a St. John’s Timeraiser open call, instead I select pieces that make more sense to the audience who will be bidding on my work.

3.    Set your prices at fair market value – Don’t over or undervalue your work.  If you are just starting to sell your work check out some cafes/shops where local art is being sold, compare prices and see where your art fits.  Keep in mind size, materials, and what your work has sold for in the past.  Pricing is tricky but remember that Timeraiser is working within a budget to purchase art too.

4.    Submit your best work  – Timeraiser is your client and potentially so are the hundreds of people who will see your art if your piece gets chosen for a show.  Always put your best work forward that represents you and your current direction as an artist.

5.    Be professional when filling in your application – Fill in every detail that they are asking you for, in the format they require.  As I said before this may be one of the easiest formats I have ever had to follow, the least you can do is be thorough with your application.

6.    Submit 5 pieces in every application – If you have 5 pieces that fit the open call, submit all 5!  What’s the use in holding back?  Give the jury a chance to see more of your work and give them the opportunity to choose what would work best for their event.  If none of your pieces get chosen this year switch it up for next year.

7.    Submit a variety of work – Try submitting work in different price ranges.  Timeraiser has a budget for each event.  If they have $800 left in their budget and need 2 more pieces of work perhaps they will take one of your pieces priced at $400.

8.    Fill in the “Additional Details” box with each image you submit. – Timeraiser is giving you the opportunity to tell them more about why you created your art.  People love to know the background of a piece even if it’s as simple as telling them why you love to paint landscapes or people.  If you don’t know why you were drawn to paint your piece tell them why you are connected to that painting now and why it was special enough to submit to Timeraiser.  Remember whoever ends up bidding on your art will spend a year working towards owning it, every painting I submit to Timeraiser needs to be that amazing.  The quality of your art and your connection to it tells a story about you too.

9.    Reapply – If your work doesn’t get chosen don’t get discouraged, come at it with a new perspective, choose new pieces, work on your descriptions, bio and pictures!  I apply to EVERY Timeraiser and although I am lucky enough to have had a lot of success I have applied to over 30 calls over 6 years and have to reevaluate what I’m submitting every time.

Extra Tips:

  • Your Bio should include, the most important/interesting things about you and what you are doing.  This could include; any schools you have attended or if you are self-taught, stand out shows, collaborations, where you live, what you are working on now, why you are working on the type of art you are working on etc.
  • Photography of your work is key and can be the most challenging part.  Try to shoot on an overcast day. When I shoot outside I lay my piece flat and photograph it from above, it usually takes 10 trial and errors but it works best for me.  If you have to shoot indoors make sure you have natural light.  I find shooting on a really sunny day with the curtains closed can work.  I photograph my work before I varnish it so that I don’t get a sheen across my work.  Shoot without a flash (which means you have to be incredibly steady).
  • If you have the space and can hang the piece on a wall that’s ideal. Make sure you crop your photos, if you don’t have a computer that has an editing program you can use free on-line programs to do this.  Pic Monkey is a great on-line tool for cropping images and can also help you eliminate colour changes/shadowing, but make sure you stay true the pieces’ original colour.

Good luck with your submissions!