Emma Geliot's picture

Video Still from Chameleon, Helen Sear (2012) selected for the Wakelin Award Video Still from Chameleon, Helen Sear (2012) selected for the Wakelin Award

Does winning an award or prize make a big difference to an artist's career?

We asked two award-winning artists, who are featured in Issue one of CCQ, what those awards have meant to them.

Josephine Sowden won this year's Gold Medal for Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh:

"In my opinion winning an art competition is invaluable to an artists career. It is such a fantastic way to get your work respect and exposure. And like mine, maybe even spark a debate, which can get people discussing - which is always good in the arts!"

"Art competitions can be a bit pricey, so maybe assess which your work is better suited to and enter them", she advises artists thinking about entering a competition. "Don t be put off if your are turned down by the first few, keep trying, your work may resonate with some judges but hold no interest to others, so don t be disheartened. If you are on a budget perhaps check who the judges are first, and see what their work is like - see if you think they may have an interest in what you have to say. Better yet, find some that you can enter for free. They may be around an average of 10-20 pounds a pop, but if you are lucky and get some exposure through them, they are worth their weight in gold."

Helen Sear was selected for the Wakelin Award, with her work being purchased for the Glynn Vivian Art gallery collection: "I am really delighted to have my work included in the Glynn Vivian collection, having worked for much of the last 25 years in Wales. It is wonderful that the Wakelin family continue in supporting the collection of contemporary art in Wales and it's legacy will be assuredthrough the care and enthusiasm of the team and friends at Glynn Vivian. Being chosen to be part of a permanent national collection is the ultimate goal of most artists, as it is through the collection that their work is looked after and made available to the public in generations to come".


What do you think? Have you had a career boost as a result of winning an award or a competition? How do you decide which competitions to enter? Is cost a factor or do you research the selectors?