The only information the jurors will have access to is what you submit to the contest. They will not know what else lines the walls of your studio or that the light was terrible the day you shot your film. Your goal is for the final product to represent you well, especially your quality of thinking and your skills. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Enter.

Most people won’t, and that puts you ahead of them already! It’s free. Each legal Entrant (the one whose name it is under) can enter one artwork PER CATEGORY. Why not try your hand at something new?

2. Follow the Rules.

Otherwise, the rest of your work will be for nothing.

3. Make sure your submission is about the topic.

If it isn’t, or if it tries to undermine the purpose of the contest, it will not be judged distinguished and you will not get the benefits of a Distinguished submission: a page in our online gallery, promotion to new audiences, etc. That said, it is ok to struggle with faith. Sometimes it’s even part of the Spiritual Battle.

4. Take your time.

Do not get impatient. Both creating this art and submitting it to the contest are processes. They take time and effort. Don’t short change either one.

5. Up your skills and do your best work.

Start early. Use this workbook. Practice. Take a class. Refine your technique. Practice. Think hard about what an excellent submission would look like for you. Practice.

6. Treat your writing for the submission form as VERY important.

Write up all the information you will be putting into the submission form in a word processing document. Then put it away for a week. When you come back, you’ll be able to spot ways to make it better. Have someone who understands the Spiritual Battle look at your art and read your submission and talk with you about it. You may get important insight.

7. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

And then have someone else proofread.

8. Create exceptional images to upload.

Bio or team photos should be clear, well framed, and well lit. Ideally, they would show some of your personality. Promo art, cover art, or poster art should be relevant and reflect your style and best effort. For visual art submissions, the images of your art are the total experience the jurors will have of it. Show scale, create high res images, and pay special attention to lighting and framing the shots. Make sure you have at least one photo of the entire artwork; provide some detail shots, as warranted. Consider how the angle of the photo will impact the jurors’ ability to see it well. 2D images should be captured straight on.

9. Team up.

If there are aspects of the submission that do not play to your skillset, add a team member who is strong in those things. It could be a videographer, a graphic designer, a writer, etc. Nobody is good at everything.

10. Consider a title that reveals something deeper about your work.

Obvious is … obvious. How can your title shed more light on your submission?

This blog post was drawn from Engage Art’s free Choose Your Own Art-venture eCourse and Workbook. To learn more and download modules, go here.