The Maryland State Arts Council's annual Individual Artist Awards competition is upon us and your application is due July 28th, 2011! That's just a little over two weeks away--which is plenty of time to get your images in tip-top shape and apply for a grant of either 1000, 3000, or 6000 buckaroos. The categories this year are Non-Classical Music Composition, Non-Classical Music Solo Performance, Playwriting, Visual Arts: Craft (woo-hoo), and Visual Arts: Photography. Don't tell me that a grant of $1000 or more doesn't appeal to you, fellow starving artists. Get your images ready and get it done! As I've been putting together my application images it occurred to me to share with you one little tip.
In the application guidelines (which can be found at the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation website) it states that your 8 images will be projected in the order that they are uploaded, and they will be displayed four at a time. So, a good way to get a sense of what the jurors will be seeing is, once you've decided upon your eight images (which can include detail shots), to open them up on your computer in Preview.
Then, if you click on the Slideshow option, you'll see down on the bottom of your screen an icon that allows you to view your images as an Index Sheet.
This gives you four images on top, four on the bottom. If it's helpful, just hold a piece of black paper over your computer monitor to block out four images at a time and you'll see what the jurors will see. Are your collections of images cohesive? Are they clear? When seen all in a group do they look too similar? If you shot on the same background, but using different lighting, are there distracting color discrepancies or white balance issues? These are things better noticed now when you can fix them!
Now, just in case you're thinking, "Sheesh, Carly....those images in your example are kinda crappy... You're NEVER going to get an Individual Artist Award with those..." let me just inform you that these images are for your education only and are not what I'll be submitting to the jury. ;)
I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial. Good luck with your application! And good luck wowing all the juries you intend to wow this season!