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Lanctot’s Loveables Teddy - Handmade collectible teddy bears by Rhonda-Lynne Lanctôt. Bears ranging in size from 0.75 inches to 21 inches.

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Judi,  :clap:  :clap:  :clap: Well spoken! I love that quote.


As for putting the words "award winning artist" on auctions, ads, etc., why not, if you have earned it? I think it's OK to be proud of your accomplishments and want to share.

Is having won an award a selling point? I believe for some collectors it is a factor, which is why I include this information in my listings.  I expect that most collectors purchase what moves them. (I do.)They may be impressed with a particular artist's style or the awards she has won, or admire extensive details on a piece, and appreciate fine craftsmanship, but what makes a collector take home a particular piece is that it speaks to them in some way.

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Well put Tami.  It just goes to show that is is no blue print to what works when it comes to what attracts buyers/collectors.  I'm just glad that thier are enough to go aorund.

We all like different things because we are all so different.....and that is what makes our world such a beautfiul place. bear_flower  bear_flower  bear_flower

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

If I'm ever lucky enough to win an award or be nominated you better believe I'm putting it in my listings and on the web site...in flashing lights with a soundtrack (kidding) bear_tongue .  he he he

Do you think olympians win a medal and say "oh well this is swell, who cares..." ahhhhh no.  Or how about chefs, think they get a 5 star and say "whoopdedo, I was only tryin' to make a steak". Think Halle Berry chucked her Oscar in a closet and said "big deal, whatever, anyone can do this". probably not.
These people work hard, practice, excel and should be proud of it....just like the wonderful people in the arts who are "award winning".  Actors might say they don't care about nominations, they act for personal satisfaction of it all and not the awards...but they're not the ones submitting the films.  If you're not doing it to win the award and be proud of it..why enter? Whats the point if yah don't really care anyway? Unless I'm mistaken aren't the artists the only ones who can enter themselves in a bear competition? 

The term "nominated" means something in the arts...and it should. If you're nominated 4 times, but not yet the winner, it stills means something if we all respect these judges and the idea of "critique".  If the smaller scale competitions are stepping stones for the big leagues than use them for all they're worth and be proud of each baby step.  Gotta start somewhere bear_thumb
:hug:
~Chrissi

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

Mindy, I like that your competition gives entrants the opportunity to be judged purely by photograph, especially for makers of bigger bears!  It gives overseas artists a chance to take part, that otherwise, they may have to sidestep. 

The cost of shipping a bear to the US for someone like me would be in the region of $65.00 one way ... to have it returned would take the cost well over the $100.00 mark, which added to the cost of materials, photography, entry fees and the fact that making a bear for competition means no income on the bear's sale for quite some time, would make the overall cost of entering prohibitive and is in fact, the reason I don't generally enter competitions these days!

bearlysane Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,188
Tami E wrote:

As for putting the words "award winning artist" on auctions, ads, etc., why not, if you have earned it? I think it's OK to be proud of your accomplishments and want to share.

Is having won an award a selling point? I believe for some collectors it is a factor, which is why I include this information in my listings.  I expect that most collectors purchase what moves them. (I do.)They may be impressed with a particular artist's style or the awards she has won, or admire extensive details on a piece, and appreciate fine craftsmanship, but what makes a collector take home a particular piece is that it speaks to them in some way.

I have been thinking about this whole thread and I agree with Tami whole heartedly on both the above.

Just think for a minute, how do you buy your clothes?
Some women buy what they can afford, others buy on impulse, some only ever look for designer labels and others just buy with the heart, some buy whether it suits them or not!

I don't really think it's any different buying a bear! Some will look for a bargain on Ebay, others browse the websites and buy on impulse, some only ever buy from Award Winners or recognised names and others buy just because they love it so much they can't possibly go through life without it.

(Last one's me with Lisa's JJ, I asked her for him well before he became famous. I think I just about drove her round the twist with my emails! :redface:)

Anyway that's my 10c worth!

Big hugs,

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

I love entering competitions..I love the challenge of thinking up what I am going to do...creating the piece...the photos...waiting for news...and even if it's not what I want to hear I don't mind because of the surge of determination to try harder next time..Get's the creative juices flowing!!

I think what the lady was saying though, is that how does a collector know what constitutes an 'award winning bear' when there are so many awards that artists can claim. Cynical folks might say that you could claim....for example...that you were an award winner if your table at a fair was judged second best. I think that purely from a collectors point of view clarification of what the award was for  is as important for the artist as it is for the collector to leave them in no doubt that your bear won against stiff competition.

That's my take on what she was saying..that collectors like to know, if the claim 'award winner' is stated that it is because the artist won a credible competition and was judged fairly. It goes without saying that all the competitions mentioned here are entirely credible...and all competitions large or small are useful tools to challenge the artists ability. I think perhaps what she was asking is, should buyers take into account the fact that the artist is an award winner...does it offer any kind of guarantee of quality. Personally I don't think it does...I think you should buy using your own judgement and not be influenced by anything other than can you afford it and do you like the bear.

I buy bears that I like and really it doesn't matter a jot that they have or haven't won an award. That said I love the challenge of awards and enter every year and one day I might be able to call my bears 'award winning' if I work really hard and someone up there likes me!!!

bearlysane Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,188
jenny wrote:

Cynical folks might say that you could claim....for example...that you were an award winner if you table at a fair was judged second best.


Jenny I haven't done a bear show that gives an award for table display. Now you've got me curious...does anyone know if any of the Australian shows give awards for tables?

But back to your lady with the letter...she needs to do some research of her own...as a collector if I was worried and in doubt, I'd ask the bear artist themselves about their Claim to Fame.

I have photos of my awards in my portfolio that I take with me to shows so this has never been a problem for me.

Sorry Jenny...that's the best I can do.

Big hugs,

bearsbybeesley bears by beesley TM
Tofield Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,818

Wonderful topic Jenny. I have mixed feelings. We entered for the first time this year for the 2006 Golden Teddy and also the Toby's. Yes we received a nomination for a Golden Teddy and yes were were so very thrilled. We did not win in our category but were thrilled just the same. Besides We could not feel one bit bad as of who we were in competion with and who won.

But! I must say that it really has not made a very big difference in our sales or the prices for the bears. Which is just fine with us. We are enjoying what we are doing and that is that.

We have also advertised this year in two magazines to the tune of $1000.00 US and I really cannot say it has made a huge difference. So take from this what you will. I do know that we will likely not advertise as much this year and we will rely on our great customer base and merit!

Please enter your bears however for the fact of the quality of your bears is outstanding! Be happy with what ever the outcome! I encourage all to enter but don't make plans to retire on the outcome! Enjoy what you do! Share your talent! Be content with the results what ever they may be! I guess what I am saying is enjoy your craft! Don't expect to much from yourself as it can only bring disapointment if you expect more than the universe is willing to give. I am not saying don't dream. Just don't bank on those dreams to retire early!

Hugs Louise

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

I've been to shows were they've offered a prize for the best dressed table!!! I've never won!! LOL!!

bearlysane Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,188

That only goes to say, you're better at making bears than setting a table! :crackup:

Hugs,

ickstir Posts: 6

I read this post (well most of it ) with great interest. But I was amazed to read one artist said " I wouldnt boast about it- if i were nominated"
I think it would be the most natural thing in the world to "BOAST". One assumes you would be proud as punch to be selected for any award.
it implies you have excelled in ,originality, design or ability in your art.
You go girls (and boys) keep doing what you're doing and feel proud to "boast"
P.S.WELL DONE KRISTA. your bears are truly original and beautiful creations !!!!!!!
:clap:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379
ickstir wrote:

One assumes you would be proud as punch to be selected for any award.
it implies you have excelled in ,originality, design or ability in your art.

BRAVO  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

Coming on this forum to share wonderful news about being nominated and/or winning an award is not boastful.  We're all here to support each other in our love for what we do.
When someone wins an award they should be recognized that is why the TOBY and Golden Teddy's have award banquets (which I will attend next year if I am lucky enough ot be nominated again). bear_thumb

MKinsey/TBF Teddy Bear and Friends
Lancaster PA
Posts: 390

MKinsey/TBF Editor of Teddy Bear and Friends

I don't think anyone is prepping a witch hunt or hissy fit, Melanie. To the contrary, most people seem to think that some degree of boasting is not only allowed and acceptable but expected when someone wins a big nomination or award. Whether people are really loud or quietly radiant about their win depends on personality, but in general, the thought is, they've worked hard and they're allowed to be proud.

Whether or not a winner then advertises as an "award-winning" artist is more the debate. The general consensus seems to be that if you've won a TOBY, Golden Teddy, TITA, Golden George, or similar large competition, you're well justified in advertising the triumph. Some people would like to see you mention the specific award, though, so they understand the magnitude of the accomplishment. It's not really the same thing to get third place for table design at the local craft fair. That's a good start, but not really enough to qualfy as "award-winning" among the professional artist community.

I, for one, am impressed by awards. Of course you can be a great artist without ever winning an award, so it's understood that not winning an award doesn't make you a bad artist. (And I've featured lots of unknowns and/or artists who haven't won or even entered awards.) But if you have won -- including nominations -- that means not only that you've designed and made something especially nice, but that you've made an extra effort to enter it in a contest. You're supporting the bear world, reaching out to collectors and fellow artists, offering yourself up to criticism, investing in your career and art -- a "win" tells me all kinds of things in addition to the fact that a judge somewhere liked your work.

Cheers,
Mindy

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

When I won a British Bear Artist award and achieved 'runner-up' in several BBAA's too, I wanted to sing from the rooftops and believe it or believe it not, I'm actually fairly backwards when it comes to being forward!  I was just so thrilled!  Best thing of all was seeing my name up among all the other winners when the competition details were published ... now if that's boastful, I have no shame!  bear_grin

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I have an entire "Noteworthy" page on my website and the home page itself is plastered with logos from the three comps in which I've received noms or won awards.  I'm such an evangelist for this kind of thing; for being proud and giddy about accomplishments that took blood, sweat, and tears to achieve.  I worked my butt off to earn the honors I've received in this field, and I'm incredibly proud of what I've accomplished thru sheer force of will, and effort.  It's a particularly delicious thing because I've chosen to be an at-home mom for 13 years now and I don't have any other peer review opportunities or possibilities for advancement, honor, or award.

As an extra wonderful bonus, as a mom, I am SO JAZZED that I can point to this stuff -- these honors and crystal tropies and ribbons -- when talking with my sons and say, "Check it out, guys!  Mom's RIGHT (for once)!  Hard work really DOES pay dividends!"  The implication being that if they work hard in THIER lives, with passion, for what they want, really going after it with everything they have, competing not against other people but against their own personal best, they can achieve REAL outcomes in their lives, and be better for it.

So... Yay, me! 

And I'm laughing here, sayign that ... because that's not an easy thing for me to say.  I tend to be the neurotic insecure type, mostly.  But I guess at 40 I figured out that there's a time in life to just wrap arms around onesself and say, "Wow, I DID something neat, all by myself, and people found it exceptional.  Kewl!"

MKinsey/TBF Teddy Bear and Friends
Lancaster PA
Posts: 390

MKinsey/TBF Editor of Teddy Bear and Friends

A couple of years ago, I was quoted in Smithsonian magazine. One quote, and a crummy one at that -- I didn't write anything, didn't do anything especially worthwhile -- and I mentioned that in conversation for months. If I ever had an article published by a big magazine or won an award for my writing, I'd be unbearable. My husband would have to deflate my head so I'd fit out the door to go for a celebration dinner. It's the same thing, just a different field.

bear_laugh Mindy

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

The trouble with all this is that it has nothing to do really with the original question which was one posed by a collector. To my mind she was asking how does a collector know whether a bear from an artist who claims to be an award winner is worthy of the title.  Given the humungous number of awards for this and that how do they know that the award has been given for excellence in both craftsmanship and/or design by a credible judging panel.

So I feel badly about Melanie feeling upset and singled out since I totally understand her sentiments and they are not wrong...they just her opinion....which she is very much entitled to voice though it may differ from that of others.

My personal stance on this is that if and when I feel that I have won something that in my mind is worthwhile and aspirational then I might bore the pants off anyone prepared to listen...or not . I do have a web page which outlines nominations etc but I don't believe that it is necessary to highlight it on my auctions or at fairs.

I am proud of my achievements to date mostly because when I started bear making I had practically never sewn a stitch and to go from not being able to tell your perle cotton from your upholstery thread to what I know now is no mean achievement I can tell you..so for that I am very proud. All this while also being a mum, wife, sister, daughter, grandma, employer and hopefully friend to someone, somewhere means that in addition to me being proud of myself I also have people to be proud of me.


But at the end of the day from my point of view the people out there buying our bears are the real judges of whether we are worthy of the money they spend... award or no award.

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

But at the end of the day from my point of view the people out there buying our bears are the real judges of whether we are worthy of the money they spend... award or no award.

I agree wholeheartedly Jenny.  I tend to think that competitions are great for pushing boundaries and challenging yourself in your chosen field of work, but if collectors want to know how best to judge bears, they've really got to put a little more effort into working out what they like and dislike and what constitutes quality workmanship, rather than relying solely on awards to point them in the right direction.  After all, many talented bear makers don't even enter competitions, so to rely on 'award winning bear artist' as a guide, would be very short sighted of a collector.  Artist bears tend to be on the pricey side, so as with any purchase, it's up to the buyer to do their research thoroughly before spending their hard earned money.

ickstir Posts: 6

ok. firstly I thought this was a forum to enable bear artists/collectors and enthusiasts to voice THEIR opinions and freely. My opinion is not right and you wrong just different.
I was making a comment regarding an opinion about boasting about awards or nominations. I am not waving my handbag or having a witch hunt, but Melanie I beg to differ with your opinion, as I read in your previous post that you had been selected this autumn for hugglets. Which I imagine you were proud to be selected for as you told the forum?
So , sorry for upsetting the balance and causing an affray.

Stellajella Wien
Posts: 1,399

Jenny, I think, with your last sentence, you answered the question yourself  bear_original
...you must be born under the sign of virgo, like me, wrecking your brain about this  :crackup:
:hug: Gaby bear_flower

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

Gaby...I am a typical Taurean bull in a china shop!!! We get along fine with Virgoans...I am married to one!!!!

Stellajella Wien
Posts: 1,399

Jenny cool! I know, taurus & virgo get along well; my brother was a taurus, the most wonderful person one can imagine bear_wub ...and you´re doing well in the china shop; no losses bear_grin
Gaby bear_flower

Darren Ellerton Jac-Q-Lyn Bears
England
Posts: 22

Good Evening!

Its been a long time since I lasted posted, and usually don't like to get involved - I like a quiet life, but here goes, if I cause anyone upset I apologise before I start. bear_grin

My opinion is that Competitions are a good thing, in any industry and to be recognised by your industry at any level is a huge achievement and should be advertised with pride.

I have not as yet entered a competition, but intend to do so, but I do feel that when you start to make bears (or whatever you may do) and get yourself a website or list on Ebay or Bearpile, magazines or forums like this you are putting your work forward to be judged whether you like it or not, all business is competition, when you list on ebay you are putting your work forward worldwide to be judged against other artists bears.  I can quote a friend on this that someone has taken the time to pick your listing against the potentially hundreds of others surely this is a form of trying to win a competition as the aim is to sell your work over the competitors. Its like when actors win an oscar they are then more likely to be offered more pictures with bigger wages, so in our world of bears if we win or are nominated for an award we too can hold our heads high, and the collectors will decide the price we can charge and the number of sales we might  make.  However you can still get good prices for your work if it is of a good standard and your own original design even if you don't enter competitions, but you have to get your name out there and advertise.

Its a good thing there are people out there who are willing to spend their time and effort in organising these competitions, and I feel they should be supported, as I agree with Paula they allow you to challenge the boundaries of artistry and we don't become complacent.

Off too hide now bear_original

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Origianl blip from quoted collector:  In the past , when one wanted some assurance of quality and security of investment, one looked at what the artist had achieved, what awards they had won, how were they represented in the magazines. Now, though, I feel that there are so many awards in the bear world that they have lost all meaning.
What does it mean to say you are an 'award winning' bear artist? Does it mean you paid your entrance fee and someone who you probably know picked your bear out?' ................' When I have asked top artists why they did not win they simply tell me the don't enter such awards anymore and therein lies the problem.....'

First question from me is "security of investment".  Artisan bears are priced what they are because of the creative art piece. Ebay has created an environment where people/the collector set the price..the collector is setting the price (after the reserve is met).  But are too many people buying for a future investment?  Are there collectors purchasing solely on the hopes that 20 years from now they will have the auctionable investment seen in the older Stieffs, Ebay "it" items, etc?? 
A movie can win an Oscar and an MTV moon man...I think the movie goer has to decide which award is more "credible" in their mind. Some might respect one, while others lean toward the other.  I think it stems back to what you like, what you collect, what appeals to you....not based on awards, but educating yourself to find out what those awards are and what they mean (the info's all out on the web and in magazines.)  Buyers across the board need to be educated....from buying a car to buying a bear.  If the cost is "an investment" to you, then research it a bit to be sure it's worth your investment.  If you're buying solely on awards then there's a chance that you could in fact be disappointed in the end.  You weren't buying based on your likes and your heart.
The last piece about top artists not entering awards anymore....well that is subjective.  Who's a "top artist" and who isn't. This writer is obviously asking those artists who she/he felt are "top"...it's her opinion, it's subjective. I personally consider those from this years Toby's and GT to be top.  If artists aren't entering award competitions it's based on choice and not because the scales are tipped or because they didn't have a buddy on the judges panel to vote them through. That's putting all awards in a cynical light and not really fair, in my opinion.
If a collector truly wants assurance of quality then I would suggest buying from an artist who offers a return policy of sorts, so that with your initial purchase you are not surprised or disappointed. If you continue to  purchase you've established trust of the artists work and probably wouldn't consider a disappointment occurring with future works.

:hug:
~Chrissi
PS...I too am a Taurus...AND married to a Taurus...how fun IS THAT??!! bear_grin  :crackup:

kassiebears Kassie Bears TM/Creations of Mysticism
Oregon
Posts: 1,078

dido Jac-Q-Lyn Bears - you said it much better than me.  bear_original but I will post mine anyway.

I am short on time today, but really wanted to comment.

I think everyone has a very great out look on awards etc. and what it means to ones own self. I feel that is really the point. “How does it make “you” the creator feel? I really enjoyed Nancy’s and Mindy’s  post and others relating to the same thoughts. I feel the same.
I think from my point of view- it is wonderful way to support our fellow teddy bear artists and show our appreciation for them in what they have accomplished. I think being published is the same. Be proud!
For me personal, I am proud of my fellow artists and say – Wow that is really cool!
I would really enjoy seeing the trophies and any other wonderful related stuff they got. That would be really cool!  bear_original

Jenny, I can’t reply on the collectors question for I have not experienced that as yet. So, I have nothing to offer there other than maybe if one of wonderful magazines were to maybe outline the awards etc. possible putting them into a divined explanation as to what they are and how they are judged, and why are the winners chosen, etc., that may help. I for one would really like to know the details. LOL It would help me better prepare for a competition from just an artist point of view. As others have stated, it is really for ones own self to enter a competition, and that is why I would enter. Just for me.

I general think all the awards should be talked about and shared when ever someone wins anything. I think it is a reflection of ones accomplishments and they should be proud and honored to share them – there are a lot of people who work very hard at these competitions to get the artists to that point and they should be talked about and again (I think being published is the same) so - shared, shared, shared.

Hugs all – great topic
kassie

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