Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Jury Slides

slide 1
I am a bit late to the show today. There has been an absolute frenzy of activity in my home and studio in the past 24 hours!! Shortly after my post yesterday, while sitting at my torch making bead one million two quadrillion for my class kits, it dawned on me... OH CRAP it is the 5th... and if it is the 5th, then tomorrow is the 6th!! I thought the 6th was later in the week. Even though Friday is the 9th, it could be the 6th too, right? Oh goodness. Why was I so frantic about the 6th? Because I had this vague recollection that my application for a Fall art show was due on the 6th. Once I realized the date, I dug out the application (that I received just two weeks ago!!) and confirmed that yes it is in fact due today.

I have sent the same set of slides in for this application for the past two years. I could probably have done it again, and I know there are artists out there that send the same slides in for years and years. But, I know this show uses the images submitted in slides for print media to promote the show. If accepted to the show, what chance do I have of making it into advertisements if I don't offer fresh slides?!? When I tell you my day came to a screeching halt yesterday, did a complete 180, and speed off in a totally different direction, I kid you not. And I am sure there are skid marks on the studio floor to prove it.

slide 2
With the complete turn around of plans, I had to go with the flow and change up today's Twisted Tuesday too. Granted, this post has nothing to do with my new book Totally Twisted, but I do think it has something to do with art and business, how you present yourself, and how to apply (or how not to) for shows. And that is what I want Twisted Tuesdays to be about! Learning not only about the behind the scenes of a book, but about my art life in general. So, let's get on with this!!

I must say, with a bit of my own horn tooting, that I am rather proud of the grace I showed myself under this sudden pressure yesterday! Go me! LOL. I had a ton to do and only a few hours to make it happen (and a kid to pick up from lacrosse practice, and one to get to baseball practice) and I did it. Thankfully, I had been stewing on a few new jewelry ideas for a while (all through the kit making process actually), and some of the beads were already made, and even some parts of the pieces. For the most part though, all three of these pieces were created in the last 24 hours!! They are "Frazzled Trapeze", "Petticoat Cartwheels", and "Somersault Slip Up" respectfully. But I don't think that you want to know about the jewelry, right? You can see it for yourself. You are wondering about the photos, no? These aren't what you are used to seeing from me, are they?

slide 3
In my years of applying to art shows, I have picked up a few tid bits of info that I think you'll find helpful and if you have had trouble getting accepted to some shows you want to be in, maybe these will do the trick. No guarantees though, even I can't get myself into all the ones I want. In fact, I was wait listed 2 years in a row for the One Of A kind Show in Chicago, and finally just gave up. I think if I applied to it tomorrow, I would still be wait listed!!

Jury Slide Do's & Do Not's:
1- Pick pieces that show your design style and have continuity. The photos should all look like they work together. In my three photos, you can see that all three pieces have similar (but not the same) color palettes, and I think you can tell they are all made by the same person.
2- NO WHITE BACKGROUNDS! Imagine yourself sitting in a dark room with slide photos flashing on a screen in front of you. Suddenly, a necklace comes up shot on a while background. It's like someone just flipped on the light switch. It is too shocking to the eyes. Go for a neutral or graduated colored background.
3- Set pieces up so that the most important part of the piece is the center of attention. I wasn't doing this yesterday when I first shot that second slide, and Laura reminded me of it when I shared that photo on Facebook (Thanks Laura!). So, I reshot it with at a different angle with the beads getting the most attention.
4- Only ever show a single piece at a time, no group shots.
5- Camera settings. If you have a good macro lens, use it! I don't claim to know a lot about photography, and I was having trouble with the first few shots I took being really grainy. Kelley (again on Facebook) told me to lower my ISO. For those with a camera that lets you set manual settings, mine were: Shutter speed 200, F-stop 5.6, ISO 600, image quality FINE, images size LARGE. With those changes, I saw huge improvements. Before I was at a setting of 50:5.6:1600, and they needed way to much work in Photoshop to be usable.

There you have it. Kerry's five tips for better juried show images. I probably have more floating around in my head but they are being blocked by my million and one other things floating around. There are a few things about each photo that erk me, but that is because I am a perfectionist, and I need to get over it. Like how the little green coil in the center of the first photo isn't perfectly straight, and in the second photo... I don't like how the orange wire looks with the sterling wire on the gray background, and on the last one, it feels like it is too far away in the shot. Oh well, what can I do? It is going to be a hectic few days around here, so posting might be spotty. I have kits to finish assembling, laundry to wash, fold, and pack, tools to find and organize, my car to load, directions to King of Prussia to download, and so much more. I handled this little crisis though, so things are happily now under control. (knock on wood)


RockerJewlz said...

Kerry I know you are busy, but what is that graduated paper, from light to dark gray...and where do you get it?

Kerry said...

It is photo paper, and you can get it lots of places. Anne of Annemade Jewelry gave me this one. It is about 15x20ish. Try eBay!

mairedodd said...

beautiful job - and thanks for the tips... it is in the photography area that i am struggling of late - when certain dimensions are specificied and dpis... working on it... and running out of time!!

BahamaDawn said...

great blog post...thanks for the tips!

TesoriTrovati said...

Well, hello gorgeous! These are absolutely perfect shots. I am enjoying your detour on Twisted Tuesdays because it shows how you gracefully twisted your day to focus on what was now most important. A great skill for any designer to have. Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin

Karen Beth said...

WOW! Thank you so much!! I learned so much from this post. I wasn't sure what your settings meant so I went and researched them, opened my manual to my camera, and oh my goodness, I can't believe the difference in my pictures! I knew I had a good camera, but I just didn't know how to use it. My beads look stunning and WITHOUT Photoshop. I always hated how my pictures looked "photoshopped" but it was the only way to get the colors where they needed should be. Now, I'm in love with photo taking! Thank you, Kerry! And your Jury pictures are stunning!

sandi m said...

Great photos!!
I cannot believe the one-of-a-kind wait listed you! I live here, been to that show, visit e.v.e.r.y jewelry booth, and let me tell you I scratch my head about some and wonder, "how the heck did they get into THIS show?" ... MY work is even better! You wonder what the judges were thinking.
Which you could have entered - then I could have met you!!

Have great time teaching. Wish I lived closer.

Working Girls Design said...

Great post, thanks for the wonderful advice. We love your jewelry - from a fellow flyer. :)

Monica said...

Fellow flyer here! Thanks for your input about the fairs/shows, it helps to know what others are doing. Take Care~