When my children were in elementary school, the school did an annual calendar
every year that it sold at the beginning of school (or at registration) for
$1.00. All of the materials were volunteers, and the "calendar staff" worked
during the summer (they were all middle-schoolers) to produce the calendar.
They learned something about the business end of selling ads, producing goods
in a timely manner, developing business relationships, and the art work
combined with poetry and short stories were chosen from work done at the end
of the previous year. The kids loved to see their own work in print..whether
poems or drawings...they were given attribution for each piece that was
chosen, and often several pieces would be on the same page....It continued
when they went to High school although it wasn't a calendar..it was a book
funded by a business sponsor that highlighted the art and writing of the 9-12
class. My son, who is now a senior at Ole Miss, again has had the good
fortune to find such a source for his art work.
I agree, contests sometimes are not fun, and it's sure not fun to enter
something and win nothing...and see others whose work is sometimes not as
good as your own win....but, it's art and it's subjective and for those who
enter the field of art on any level, it's just one of those things you have
to learn to live with...
He entered a graphics design competetion last year and was sorely
disappointed when he didn't even get honorable mention...but when we talked
some about the contest and the various elements of it, he saw that those
whose work had caught the judges' eye had tried many facets of developing
their work, instead of just one particular way. It was an eye opener for him
in a field that is dog-eat-dog competetive. And that was just on a college
It made him think hard about the choices he had made up until then and caused
him to decide he needed a more people-oriented career than graphic design.
He still loves to draw and paint and is quite good at it, but his best works
are about people...not about things.His dad and I are very happy with the
choice he has made - to go into high school guidance counseling...and he has
had the good fortune to have several teachers who practiced their love of
arts, while doing a different job to earn a living. He got great advice from
him and his RUF leader at Ole Miss. He knows its a long row to hoe, so to
speak, but if he is willing, then so are we.