How to Fool a Jury into Believing you’re Amazing in What You Do…

I am currently taking a portfolio class at the College of Southern Nevada. When I first started this course I was intimidated by it. I can be an unorganized person and by that I mean I don’t really pay much attention to detail when I do things. I thought this class was going to be about organization solely.  However, I have learned some valuable lessons in this class and it has been a very helpful course.

This week I learned how to submit a Call for Artists application which is basically just another name for a commission you sign up for. I’ve applied to art contests that have a similar process.  People can apply online and submit a couple photographs of their artwork with a submission fee. I have already known about that but I learned that organization and thought plays a big role on whether you get the job or not.

It’s not all about organization but about appealing your jury. Being an artist is a lot more than just creating amazing work it’s about peer networking and hustling nonstop.  The image of a starving artist who isolates himself from the rest of the world is an unrealistic image of an artist.  Most people think Michelangelo was a starving artist but he was actually from a wealthy family and he had connections.  He also carried himself as if he were an important figure and that made people take him seriously.

When submitting a portfolio to a jury there are things to think about.  First, how are you going to organize your work? Second, how are you going to stand out from other applicants?  Third is keeping your application short and to the point. In order to do all of this you have to put in some thought about what the jury is looking for and meld your work that might fit in with what they are looking for. For Example if you mainly draw dogs and this is an application for a landscape mural then you have to find a way to connect your work or ideas with the opportunity given to you. Something else that seems really sneaky but helpful is researching who is in the jury panel. With the internet it is so easy to find what people like and what they are about.  If you find a way to connect with the jury panel then that gives you a better chance to get the job.

Being a successful artist is more than what I thought. It’s about being able to present your work professionally, have good communication skills, writing skills, and organization skills. The smallest details like your handwriting or the envelope you use to submit anything is taken into consideration and I learned to pay more attention to that.



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