No sooner had I suggested in my previous post that everyone should use contests as a way to motivate themselves.
To get out and shoot and not worry about winning.
Then I went out and actually won one contest this weekend.
My photo won “Best Photo” in the photography category and I also won “Best Overall in the Show.”
The city of Riverside holds an art contest in conjunction with their annual Mariachi Festival.
This year the theme of their contest was “Day of the Dead” or El Dia de los Muertos.
I didn’t go out of my way to specifically shoot a picture to enter this contest.
The image was from my archive.
I just happened to have a print lying around the house and a matte and a frame, so I asked myself, “Why not?”
The entry fee was $15.
After dropping off my entry, I hadn’t plan on attending the opening either.
Then my buddy Cosme Cordova, owner of Division 9 Gallery who installed the art show, sent me a text on Friday evening asking what time I was going over to the hall where the art was displayed.
Eventually after several text message exchanges, I realized why he was so insistent that I show up.
Turns out I had won something so I had to be a good sport and show up.
Little did I know they would even interrupt the Mariachi concert, announce the winners over the PA system and even invite us up on the stage.
Since I usually have my point-and-shoot camera with me, I felt I better get a picture of myself.
I simply could not make myself do a selfie up on the stage, I am sorry.
So I handed the camera to the wife of one of the other contestants.
As a self-employed artist, no one ever tells you this:
You can’t be bashful about publicity.
No one ever buys your work or hires you based solely on the perception you have of your own work.
Putting it another way, you have to be willing to stand in the spotlight.
I still grapple with this today and especially when I go out on job interviews.
My Chinese upbringing has to a lot to do with this.
In general, bragging or talking on and on about yourself is not looked upon as a very desirable trait.
It’s been 10 years since I left the newspaper business and I am slowly coming to terms with it now that I have to beat my own chest, puff it out and sell myself.
Do you have any problems selling yourself?
Self-promotion is a necessity for any artist.
No one else is going to do it.