I am very new to making teddys so I'm miles away from calling myself a pro. But I like to work towards a goal. I haven't been able to find free teddy bear competitions around me which is sad because I don't want to pay a fee as a beginner. And even though I'm not expecting to win in any way, I'd like to participate , to give my new hobby a more serious framework or at least create self motivation.
Can anyone help? I don't know any bear makers in real life so I'd appreciate any advice. Where does one start?
Thanks in advance?
Hello Old Soul Bears,
I don't think that there are many competitions without a fee. Not at least that I know. The fees help cover the costs of running the competitions. I don't know much about the competitions in Germany.
The problem with most photographic competitions is that they are usually broken down into two parts. The first is usually judged by a group of judges. The only people then to see all the entries are the judges. I know the UK competition Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards gives each participant their scores. That would certainly be a help in seeing your high and low points. I do think though for beginners to get their monies worth out a competition it is good to have your entry seen by everyone.
The URSA Awards is an online competition. It is totally judged by the public. Every entry is seen, and it is a good way to get your work out there. It is not cheap, there is a fee. I have had many collectors over the years that I competed in that competition tell me they first saw my work in the URSAs. You can think about that money spent as advertising. The URSAs was where I started. After I had some successes there I moved onto the TOBYs. The URSAs gave me the confidence to do that.
If you feel like competition is what you'd like to try, then you should. Just remember that the quality of your photos is very important. Take good quality photos of every bear you make through the year. Then when competition time comes around you will have your photos ready to go.
I entered my first competition last year (The Alfonso awards in the UK); they had a novice section for newbies which is why I went for that one. Maybe contact organisers of your local competitions and ask them if they have a novice/beginner section and maybe if they don't suggest they have one?