I've been sitting on this for a few days, waiting for this to *mellow* in my mind but it just hasn't.
I have the current issue of TBR in front of me and am very upset about the nominating committee's huge decision to ignore one of its own Rules this year. In the past, both of our No Amer magazines have been guilty of doing things like this- setting up Guidelines like photography only against solid colored backgrounds and then choosing images taken out-of-doors in the grass, or choosing a design that is a single in one picture and part of a multiple set in another entry.
However, I do watch my particular favorite category (Needle Felting) for wonderful new entries each year, to see how far the b=new artists have expanded the art form.
I was totally shocked to find 2 images posted - by the same artist...
This is to say nothing against the wonderful artist - SteviT - who is a marvelous artist and a fabulous needle felter, in miniature yet!
It was not her choice to pick 2 of her entries for the competition. But since I had begun entering competitions 20 years ago, I don't ever recall (excusing my possibly faulty, aging memory) a sponsor going against their own CLEAR drective ofnominating the same artist twice in one category. Here is the Rule:
Rather than comment here on the forum, as I don't wish to begin any rancor or ill-feelings, but merely point out what a poor decision this was on the side of Teddy Bear Review's Golden Teddy nominating committee, I would hope that anyone who feels as strongly about this as I do, do as I did yesterday and write to TBR's Editor:
I am distressed and highly agitated to find Teddy Bear Review has ignored one of its own Guidelines/Rules in the current Golden Teddies by selecting two nominations by the same individual by the same Artist, within the same Category, in spite of Rule #2, sentence #3:
"Participants may submit multiple entries per category, but nominations will be limited to one per maker per category."
SteviT has two entries in the Needle Felted Category, and while she does absolutely glorious work, she has -
1 - taken the place of another possibly-as-worthy-competitor with one of her nominations, and
2 - is competing against herself.
I have never seen such an egregious error on the part of a nominating committee since I began subscribing to our North American magazines and entering the competitions myself. I do hope that this situation will be addressed publicly!
Roberta Kasnick Ripperger
This may, in future, affect a nominating place of any one of us. I'm one of those who do 'fight City Hall', who doesn't mind sticking my neck out, against the popular trend of everyone else and their principles, when I think that a wrong needs to be to be corrected.
Thx for your cool, calm and patient understanding.
I think things like this do nothing to help competitions, especially when there are always people who suspect foul play, insider help and the like (yep, I've even run sports competitions where we were accused of unfairly treating a competitor, and it was a race!). I watched a scrapbook mag get its reputation torn to shreds for doing something just like this, and we can't afford to lose any more bear mags!
Last year an artist got two nominations in the same category. Both entries were beautiful, but I had always thought you could only be nominated once per category. So I guess maybe it is not the case with the Golden Teddies.
I will be curious to see their response to this. It did kind of turn me off a bit to this competition.
I agree....if the standard of entries is as high as they always say and that choosing is so difficult why deny another artist the chance to be nominated by picking the same artist twice in the same category...one it flouts the rules and two it starts to look like the judging is not a fair as one would think. I hope that isn't the case...and like you say that is not the artists fault..I totally see why you would enter two or even three bears in one category...it's called hedging your bets...but I know that the artist would naturally think only one would be nominated.
When everyone pays to enter it needs to be fair.
I agree with what's been said so far ... it's something I've noticed too in past years. I'm someone who reads the rules and sticks religiously to them, so it's frustrating when either other artists' entries slip through but don't quite meet the exact criteria, or as you say, the organisers themselves don't stick to their own rules.
The other thing that drives me nuts is when deadlines keep being moved ... but I guess that's another story!
It seems to me there have been quite a number of "infractions" in the last few years on contest entry rules. As well as more than one entry by a single artist being nominated in a category, I've seen more than one bear or a bear and an animal nominated, and even winning, where the rules state only one critter, and I've also seen quite a few with "props" (as opposed to accessories) which it specifys are only to be used in the tableaux category, but have been accepted in all categories.
It certainly doesn't make for a level playing field for all participants when the sponsors don't follow their own rules. Why set rules if you don't mean to stick to them?
lol, i am not talking about this competition, but the justice of the rules on the bear competition. I do sent out one entry bear with a collar and a ribbon tied at the back of this collar, guess what, they said i have add more than one accessories for the entry, poor me, they are doing the right job
and this is a competition held in Asian country.
Beside nominating one artist twice in the needlefelted category this year, I noticed they also did this in the "Artist Bear, Undressed, 14 inches & over" category.
Yep, it was me. But please, please note it is not me who ignored the rules; they state clearly that an artist may enter more than one piece in a catagory, so I did. . I entered two in the same catagory because I couldn't decide which I liked best, but knowing full well (at least I thought) that only one could be chosen. I had mixed feelings when I found out I had two nominations. I was thrilled of course that my work was chosen, but worried that other artists may think I bent the rules. and of course like Bobbie said, I am now in competition with myself. And now I still don't know which of my bears to vote for!
Oh no, Tami! I never thought you did anything wrong! I believe you can enter as many as you want per category--it's completely TBR's responsibility. I just noticed that you had two entries (both of which are FABULOUS, by the way!! ) and have been concerned that it could work against you. It could split the vote and that's just not fair to you! That's the only reason I brought it up. I'm sorry I wasn't more specific (sometimes my brain is a little slow due to my health issues).
Melanie and I do not read Teddy Bear magazines anymore because they have become little more than purveyors of advertisements to the exclusion of promoting the Teddy Bear as an art form.
The Teddy Bear awards are little more than an exercise in self-promotion.
We no longer see articles on Bears, Bearmakers or how to make Bears. We see sparse fluff pieces that read like they were written by an eighth grader.
I bet most of the Bear mags have been taken over by accountants who know little about journalism or Bearmaking. All they think about is the bottom line but they don't even do that very well.
Most of the Bear collectors we know about will just shrug when you mention the name of most Teddy Bear magazines. As far as I am concerned, Teddy Bear magazines and their yearly awards are virtually irrelevant. They have been for years. If the kind of stuff that you guys are talking about keeps happening it won't be long before these rags are dead and gone.
Yes, these are some pretty discouraging words. Coming from a major Teddy Bear collector (over 1,000 Bears and growing) they are especially bad news.
I no longer get my Teddy Bear news from magazines. I get it from the internet. It is exactly the kind of stuff that you guys are talking about that is the reason.
Editors of Teddy Bear magazines, clean up your act!
Us Bears - I love what you wrote and I would like to urge you to email the same letter to the Editors at both TBR and TB&F! I'm not sure about the competitions, I never participate, but I agree with the magazines being filled with way too many ads and not enough substance - wouldn't it be wonderful if our magazines went back to the way they were 10 years ago? Ahhh, those were the good ole' days ~
THis is such a delicate issue. I'm not sure what can be done? Last year I contracted for a year's worth of ads in TB&F (my favorite magazine). I wanted to support them in their new efforts. But I guess we were not enough. THe magazine issues are thinner and thinner and their internet presence is meager. I still love the professionalism of Teddy Bear and Friends and hope they can pull through. I was turned-off when I heard the Editorial themes that Teddy Bear Review was featuring for 2011. THey seem to be missing the whole idea of the 'Art' of teddy bear/animal art and going for the hobbyist (not a bad thing, but we will miss them). It's a dilemma. The internet is here; more and more sales are made on the internet, and many of the new collectors are finding us on the internet, especially international collectors. I want to support our magazines but I have to go where I can get the most notice as an artist.
Tami, I love you with all my heart! I never even noticed your name listed - I've been studying the bear faces and so far have only filled out my card for the first 3 categories - got distracted with other stuff...
But - that's EXACTLY what I said in my Point #2!!
The entrants are competing against themselves!!!!!! It is truly splitting-the-vote and not giving either bear a majority of the number count which should go to the artist: any artist could have this happens to them and there's nothing they've done to cause or affect it..
Now that I realize that there are TWO artists this is happening to this year, I'm going to write a pen & paper, hard copy letter to several TBR individuals—this is just WRONG!!!
If the Rules are set up - they should be followed. I've had occasion in past years to write to TB&F and received replies. The next years those particular problems were changed to reflect those issues, so I felt as though even one voice made a difference when there were infractions by the nominating committee.
It is not the magazines' Editorial Board who're also the nominating committee (at least it never was when I was competing, so unless that's changed too...) so they are the ones who should definitely hear our minds about this. If we don't say anything these will not change, they'll think we won't notice. If the entrants are to be held to the Rules or be disqualified, so should the nominating committee!
Well said Leslie, there's nothing like viewing in person.
That being said, the overseas shipping imposes a hardship on many from other countries - - - but then, no one was ever "promised a rose garden" in this life, meaning that if one wishes to take part on comps in other countries, they must be willing to put up with import duties, the chance of the entry going astray, high shipping fees going & coming, the long wait for its return before it being available to sell, and all of the other difficulties that might be encountered.
It's not fair to fill the forums with all of the whinging about problems before and afterwards—because no one is being forced into entering a non-local competition: if it's something your personality can embrace, with all of the plusses and minuses, then Go For It!
I applaud those who sponsor competitions—they cannot win in everyone's eyes. There will always be ones who hated the experience no matter what and others who thought it glorious and have already plotted out their design(s) for next year.
While the sponsors just want to go home, take the phone off the hook and put their feet up for a week! Cheers for all they do!!
The magazines are probably struggling to survive but that doesnt explain going against their own rules.
I have been featured in a British magazine lately but got a bit peeved that because I didnt take out an advert no contact details were added to my feature.I had two pages of bears a fair bit of editorial that I took time to write and a cover.It was over a year ago and people still comment "oh that was your bear on the cover?" seems unfair to artists taking time to write articles and very annoying to readers who cant contact the maker featured? I was very grateful for the exposure but it was a waste of time really.I have never entered a competition but the rules seem complicated and now it seems irrelevant.
I agree, Us. Most are fluff features; i.e., same backgrounds on how we were -
born, grew up
had / didn't have a childhood ted
kept / lost that ted
introduced to bearmaking with a kit / in a class
instantly 'hooked' on it....et al....
..just different materials used, global locations.
Yes we all have a slightly different slant, and reading from the artist's angle we each feel / know that we're unique, but from the 'other side of the table' (show/fair table, magazine page, etc) from the collector's viewpoint like Us is saying, are we really all that different?
Are the magazines REALLY giving the readers NEW information every issue or following a formula they began with and are just repeating?
I know they're struggling here, but when compared to the great Australian mag with actual different multiple patterns in it every issue (please correct me if I'm mistaken, I haven't seen it in a few years but this was its normal routine) can ours compare to it with the paper doll cut-outs TBR used to feature?
Or the 'fluff' etiquette column written by a Teddy Bear, answering questions not even submitted by the readership?
Where are the Meat & Potatoes articles?
June's issue of TBR is totally presentations of artists and their current offerings and a few recent show reports.
TB&F's Summer issue is a bit more well-rounded; along with the artist features to promote their new works, it has a bit of historical referencing, which has all been presented before but probably new to more recent collectors and the TOBY voting - 2 more rule-breakers here by the artists: not photographed against solid-colored backgrounds but chosen by the nominating committee anyway..
There is one DIY craft idea, made with polymer clays, a quickie idea that even kids can do so a good thing to tuck away for a summer camp craft or rainy day.
There were issues presented under Mindy's reign that had projects which actually taught bear-making and ideas about storage, insurance, organization and marketing (and many others that I cannot think of off the top of my mind now) not dumbed down articles but presented in a professional manner. I designed and wrote 2 of them and if they were over the heads of some collectors and hobbyist bear makers I know by the mail I received that they were appreciated by others, both artists and collectors
TB&F has always been slightly ahead in the amount of actual variety of information within each issue, but I do feel that both of them should read the European, Asian and Australian magazines regularly to see a different perspective on what we are being presented with and change it up a bit!
This is no longer 1995; the world of collecting and bear making has changed with the internet and the way bears are being designed, marketed, purchased, displayed, etc, etc... by the shops, artists, collectors, museums, and every entity involved with bears today!
Get a few journalists hired to delve into these topics and GIVE US MORE MEAT!
Bobbie, I wonder if entries for the contests are WAY down and that might explain why they have chosen bears that don't meet the rules in some of the categories? I noticed that several categories in the Golden Teddies only had 4 nominations instead of the usual 6 - at least they do online, I haven't gotten my actual magazine to see if it is different.
I've been following this thread for a few days and find it really intersting.
And now I have to admit: I entered in one of the categories with only four nominations, but didn't receive a nomination,so I guess my entry didn't meet the minimum-standard for a GTA-nomination.
And yes, I am dissapointed, exspecially as this bear did extremely well in other competitions: It was 2nd in the Euro-Teddy-Award (miniature undressed) and won 1st place in the British Bear Artist Award (International Artist).
This makes me really wonder what they expect at the Golden Teddies?
Anyway, I don't think that I will enter again because my bears are definitely too bad for the Golden Teddies.