How can my art get noticed?

Kirsten Kreiling | In the Know, Reflection & Growth | August 2, 2018

The Engage Art Carolinas pilot contest runs until September 30,2018. In 2019, our international competition launches, and artists around the world will have a chance at cash prizes and exposure. Many people will be attracted by the cash, and let me be the first to say, I hope you win it! But, for someone trying to make it as an artist, the kind of exposure offered through this contest is likely to be even more important, and the best part is that many more artists will get the exposure than will win the money.

After all, most artists, musicians, and videographers want people to see and hear their work. You spend countless hours creating masterpieces and envision a time when thousands of people are inspired and motivated by your creation. We’re going to help you get there.

Why Exposure Matters

When we talk about exposure, we mean that you and your work will be seen by people and organizations who:

  1. might love what you do.
  2. may have an interest in purchasing work or hiring you for your skills.

There are no guarantees, of course — but that music you’re recording in your basement? That film you’ve been working slaving over for months? The sculpture you’re so passionate about that you skipped dinner last night to work on it? Ultimately the goal is to have other people connect with your art, and exposure is the only way to do that..

Just look at the definition of the word "art" — “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination …. producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

"To be appreciated" is a key term for artists. Exposure means other people will look at your creative work, and who knows where that could lead? You could make a difference … you could even start a movement!.

How Engage Art Factors In

The Engage Art Contest attaches your artwork to a bigger project, and the competition can catapult your work in front of more people than you ever dreamed. When you're considering your entry, instead of thinking "How can I win this contest?",  think "How can this grow my business as an artist?" Consider how your entry could expand into a series of paintings, an album, or a business that can sustain you. Good artists can be good business people.

The Engage Art Contest offers a specific set of opportunities for artists:

  • If your music, film, or visual art is deemed “distinguished,” then you will get a page on the Engage Art website. You can use this page in your marketing or to point people to your work on social media.
  • If you want to use Engage Art for exposure, be sure to include information about how people can find you and can purchase artwork or hire you when you fill out your Engage Art Contest application online.
  • We will soon be launching the Engage Art Show, a YouTube/Vimeo video show that will showcase artists and their art … will you be next?
  • Distinguished artworks will be considered for weekly videos that will be distributed through a variety of channels — through (free) subscription, on Vimeo, on YouTube, on social media, etc. Your work could be featured in these videos, as well. When it is, the information you have provided about what goods and services you provide and how to contact you will go along with the videos.
  • The Engage Art music, video and visual art database will be searchable for pastors, teachers, etc., to be able to find art to support their lessons. When they do, more people know about — and hopefully are touched through — your art.

As an international contest and program, this exposure will span the globe. How can you take advantage of this exposure to new audiences? It's not enough to paint amazing portraits. No matter how unique you are, the internet's algorithms aren't your friend. It's difficult to get noticed.

5 Other Ways to Gain Exposure

Are there ways to gain exposure outside of The Engage Art Contest? Of course! And the more you do, the more chance that your career will take off.

Build a Community

Artists love other artists (most of the time). We thrive on contact with each other and use experiences together to craft our future projects. No matter where you are, other creatives are looking for a community. That's not solely a #yourtown, #yourstate thing. That's an all-over-the-world thing. Other artists make us better. You might also want to collaborate, or start a business you've been dreaming about. Remember that some communities are primarily online. Are you engaged with artists and art lovers through social media, list serves, etc.?

Optimize Your Website

Your online presence matters. Maybe it’s time to update your website before people from all over the world are stopping by? Stretch outside of your local community and deliver your message and art to whomever might be interested, no matter their location. Build a website that showcases your creativity in an accessible and shareable way … and includes the SEO data to show up in the right search results.

Raise Your Social Game

With so many eyes staring at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all day, it would be a mistake to ignore these social giants. You'll face the most competition here, however. Spend time thinking about how you can stand out. Whatever you do, be consistent.

Share It With People

Make your art part of your daily conversation. You don't have to be to a salesperson, but if art is a part of who you are, it makes sense that you would discuss it with people you interact with through the day. Talk about it, share your website, social, and whatever it takes to gather interest.


If you're looking to get noticed for your art, there's no shame in online advertising. In fact, it's a surefire way to get people who are directly interested in your art to see it. You can advertise your website, your social media, and more all on your own. Advertising is also a reliable way to stand out from the crowd.

The deadline to submit to The Engage Art Contest for the Carolinas is September 30th, 2018. Complete and submit your entry for a chance to win cash prizes and exposure for your piece of art. Stay tuned for our international contest launching in 2019!

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!