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edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

I personally don't believe that there is a lot of "politics" behind these contests. I have entered and been nominated quite a number of times without doing a lot of advertising in the magazines or having bears in stores owned by judges - in other words there would have been no reason for them to nominate my bears unless they did like them against what else was submitted. I do think though that there is a fair bit of luck involved too as I have had bears nominated that I entered just because I was entering a couple of others and the price gets cheaper for mutiple enteries. The ones I was especially proud of, and had high hopes for, frequently were not the ones nominated but rather the others that I had thrown in at the last minute in case they might stand a chance. Now I think that has more to do with what else was entered in the same category. Perhaps some years too many people are on similar themes and therefore their bears don't stand out, or certain categories might have much stiffer competition than others that year. There are so many factors that even when you are disappointed if a bear isn't nominated, you have to realize it does not mean that your bear isn't good. I also feel that the photos are really important since that is what the judging is based on - you really have to capture your bear at his best and most appealing so it will stand out to the judges.  I would definitely encourage anyone to try though as you just never know what the entries will be on any given year and what will appeal to the judges - as long as you can afford it you really have nothing to lose as long as you keep your expectations realistic!

SunnieOne Sunnie Bears
Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 1,167

I agree with most of the above. I really would be reluctant to say that there was any politics involved at all. I entered and I had never advertised in any magazine, I had been making bears only 2 years at the time and was shocked to get both a Golden Teddy and a TOBY nomination for the same bear. I didn't win the Golden Teddy, but I did win the TOBY. Which once again totally blew me away. Having said that, I still consider myself a virtual "unknown". So if I could do it and win, anyone here can. I say go for it.
Sonya

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Sonya, I certainly think you are NOT an "unkown".  Infact I think your bears are very recognizable.  I have admired yoru work for years.  bear_thumb

I have to agree that there is no politcs in these contests.  I met a few of the judges at the bear show in San Diego and they have no affiliation with the magazines.

Quality photos are so important and heck if you don't enter, you never know.  Just keep trying.

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

PS  Forgot to mention that entering is a wonderful learning experience, which is always a good thing!  You'll know what it takes to get organized and prepped for this; it doesn't take five minutes, that's for sure!  It's an investment of time, energy, effort, and finances.

AMEN SISTER!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Thx for bringing this subject back, Jared! I've gotten nominations & awards from 5 major comps; like you, it IS my advertising $$, as I cannot afford both.
But Pen said something that we glossed over at the time and I wanted to mention again:

One thing I think about competitions in the beary world is this...that I think maybe for your money you should get an appraisal of your work...especially if you get nominated but don't win.

Australian friends have shown me the crit sheets they receive on all entered bears/friends. Believe me, they're gone over with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. Every hair & stitch out of place is noted, and deducted for, but the good points are also described.
It's a great learning tool and doesn't leave one wondering, as we do, why "they didn't like our work."
It pits us against only ourselves and not each other, for the very few top places.

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

Don"t you get a critique sheet when you enter competitions?

I have just been in one of our competitions ....The main reason I enter is for the critique sheet we get over here from the judges, it is a wonderful learning experience to have your work gone over so thoroughly by someone who is  a professional.  They are always very positive and encouraging as well as pointing out what you could have done better.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

No SarahJane, we don't!!
Comps at shows are definitely a popular opinion format, with show attendees casting votes for favorites.
In the international comps TOBY & Golden Teddy, you just get the call or email if you've been nominated and if/when you've won. There's absolutely no help given as to how to improve.... Sad, isn't it?   :o(

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413
Website

bear_thumb Kimberly,
I really like your BumbleBear Pair, commission piece. Your could enter that in the TOBY's. Image #2 (always have a piece where the bear is looking at the camera) You would need a head-shot, but you could use photoshop or a similar program and focus in on their faces.
I entered the TOBY's my first year in the collectible business and won. I think, dumb luck, and the fact that I create cats helped. The same year I went on to win the TED award in Germany. I didn't let it go to my head. I knew I had a LOT to learn but it was so wonderful, and it gave me a dream-to-hang-my-hat-on ;-> I've worked hard since then and kept dreaming. I won another TOBY this year 2006. Your creativity and drive are the most important attributes to your business. But it's nice to gain acknowledgement. You can be a great artist and have many collectors without ever entering a contest. I think if you do enter contests you have to be prepared to go to the awards show and be there, win or lose.
Karen
KJ Lyons Design

Megelles Megelles
Brisbane
Posts: 273
Website

HI Everyone

rkr4cds wrote:

Australian friends have shown me the crit sheets they receive on all entered bears/friends. Believe me, they're gone over with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. Every hair & stitch out of place is noted, and deducted for, but the good points are also described.
It's a great learning tool and doesn't leave one wondering, as we do, why "they didn't like our work."
It pits us against only ourselves and not each other, for the very few top places.

I have just finished organising  the first TABA competition.   In Australia like Sarah and Bobbie mentioned we base our competitons on workmanship as well as the overall appearance of the bear.

If anyone would like a copy of the critique sheet, I am more than happy to email you a copy.  Please email me as I don't know how I can post a PDF doc on here.

Like Bobbie said the judges go over the bear with a fine tooth comb and the big thing about any competition is the judges personal opinion does come into it a little (sometimes to much for some). 

For any competition - just go for it - if you don't you will never know.

Hugs Lisa

ps It is a great feeling to be nominated.  I entered for the first time last year and received an TOBY Industry Award. I thought I had told everyone 1000 times as I was so excited but my never told my best friend.  (She is not into bears anyway)

pma2003 Seamore Collectibles
CT
Posts: 451

I want to thank everyone for their honest opinions as I'm relatively new to the bear seen.. I've  mulled over the entries for the past few years and I sometimes wonder if I'm talented enough to enter.  But I've bucked up the courage  this year and set myself a challenge to at least try.  And it's amazing how you can challenge yourself.  I started designing this weekend and each pattern developed into someting new.  Now I have a whole bunch of criiters to make along the way, thank goodness for Ebay.(only kidding).  I want to wish everyone else Good Luck.
P.S. What is the Golden Teddy??

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