I have always struggled with the idea of art as a competitive pursuit. Is something so subjective really able to be compared or measured, or seen as more worthy than the artwork sitting next to it? Personally I have had a love/hate relationship with art competitions…basking in the joy I have felt when a piece of art I have created has been accepted, and even won an art prize….and on the flip side feeling that sting of rejection when you open a letter that says unfortunately this year your artwork didn’t make the cut.
Art really is placing your soul up on a wall to be seen by others, so to add a competitive and judgemental aspect to it can be rough. However without the ups and downs these experiences with art competitions have given me, I know undoubtedly I wouldn’t be the artist and in fact the person I am today. For kids, art competitions can teach them many great life lessons (like sport) that build character, so in this post I thought we could look at 7 reasons why art competitions are good for ALL kids, not just your more artsy child.
- Working to a Theme Many childrens art prizes are themed, so the flow on effect is that kids are forced to think outside their usual box of flowers, dinosaurs and rainbows (which are cute mind you :-)) to create an artwork that fits the theme…some can even have quite a strong theme such as endangered animals, or societal issues so kids are learning valuable lessons about the world around them whilst being creative.
- Encourages Creativity Their are many art competitions held all around Australia, and indeed internationally that are open to kids – so if your child is regularly entering these competitions, that means they are regularly creating new artworks. And as most artists will attest, the more you create, the more creative you become. So by having something like a competition to work towards you are encouraging your child to produce more art, and indeed be more creative.
- Finishing Artworks To enter an artwork into a competition it needs to be finished, and it should be your childs best work. This is a valuable life lesson in seeing things through, and that no matter what they do, they should do it well.
- Creates Community Involvement Many art competitions are held by local councils and schools, so if your child does enter these kind of prizes it encourages them to engage with the local community. On top of this, most art prize openings are quite social affairs and chances are your child will get to know other kids in the area who are interested in art and may make some valuable friendships based on shared interests.
- Learning Resilience If your child doesn’t win, or isn’t accepted into the competition they are able to learn the valuable lesson of disappointment and how to be gracious in these circumstances. In a similar way that losing a sporting match teaches resilience, not being accepted will help your child learn to be able to pick themselves up after disappointment and carry on.
- Create Some Space at Home This one is more for the parents….If you live with a budding Picasso or Van Gogh, no doubt you have an ever-increasing stash of artworks on walls, fridges and in cupboards. An art competition often also creates an opportunity to sell your childs artwork – and if they are happy to part with it – Mum and Dad win back some space at home, and your little artist takes home some pocket money for their creative efforts. Everyone wins!
- You Never Know…..They Might Just Win! There is nothing like that wonderful feeling of being recognised for your hard work and creativity – if your child does win they have the fun of receiving their reward, they learn how to be a gracious winner AND can start their Artists CV with a list of prizes they have won and been accepted into.
So you can see art competitions can be a really positive experience for kids, with an opportunity to learn some great lessons. At Art&Co we have recently had quite a few of our students accepted into prizes such as ArtExpress, Warringah Art Show and The Young Archie – and to see the pride in their faces when they come into the studio to tell us the good news is truly priceless.
If you are interested in entering your child in an art competition, here are a few worth checking out:
2014 Art Design Awards – Theme ‘family’ – Closing Date Friday 25th July 2014 http://www.qieu.asn.au/events/2014-art-and-literary-competitions/
ABC Let’s Draw Compeition – Closing Date 29th July 2014
Tom Gates Drawing Competition – Theme based on Tom Gates Books – Closing Date 31st August 2014
Little Big Idea – Theme your big idea described as video or image – Closing Date 5th September