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

Not sure about that Edie, there are only 2 nominations in some of the Manufactured Categories... don't know if the criteria is different 'behind the scenes' for Individuals...

And Natasha, in all of my years of submitting, I used to submit the same works to both comps.
The quality of the nominated pieces always appeared (in MY opinion, only!! LOL) to be of a better, higher quality in some of the categories in TB&F's TOBY than in TBR's Golden Teddy. (If you asked many US artists for an anonymous opinion, you'd probably get a majority agreement of the same.)
And only once, in all of those years of TOBY nominations and wins, did I ever receive a single GT nomination on the same piece that got through 2 rounds of TOBYs to win 1st place.

The quality of the GT's nominations has definitely improved, as overall bear design and creation techniques have.
Not knowing what pieces are submitted to the pool from which the nominating committees have to choose from, it's difficult to say if the quality submitted is of equal quality; even now, as I lay both of this year's choices out side-by-side, there's just 'something' about the TOBY nominees (as a whole, not as individual pieces) that puts them on a slightly higher grade.
Perhaps that not the best word for it (just back from the dentist & I'm distracted...) but it explains it....

There are a few more TOBY pieces included overall - 4 or 5, and the images are not all 'framed' individually like the GTs, but they are shown twice the size of the GT's and in the end I think that the size lets you examine each piece better.

Yes, there was some cropping done, and the TOBYs have been criticized in the past for that, but overall, collectors say that it's the eyes/face that draws them. And for competition work, realizing that this cropping has and may occur, any artist would be safer in designing a piece that would keep the piece within the bounds of not having feet or ears lopped off/Photoshopped off if that's a special Studio feature of theirs but keep the design centrally located or concentrated where it can still be seen.

Well, enough opinions spread around now while I'm vulnerable. I'll put my nose back to the grindstone where it belongs!

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

I and I know many of us, would love a professional in-depth Teddy Bear magazine. And I would advertise with such a publication. But I'm not sure this is possible in these economical times. The magazines are NOT hiring people who have knowledge or experience in our field. THey are hard-working people who want their magazines to succeed but they are not hired because they know our field, they have to catch-up with understanding our art while trying to publish the magazines.
P.S. Natascha~I have won over 10 TOBYs and a German TED Award but I have never won a Golden Teddy Award. I finally stopped entering.

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

Amen, Karen, and it's too bad that the 'Art Format' of which you speak—the technical aspects—behind the work that create such strong, masterful pieces as are seen in the Doll world as well the Textlles, Jewelry, Fiber Arts, Clay/Pottery, and the ilk, can all support great quarterly or bi-annual publications, separate from any 'sales/ads/features' types like that which TB&F and TBR present in the bear world.

They feature Gallery work, talking with the true experienced professionals in the mix as well as new beginners for both takes on the field, for insights from both sides: fresh innovative ideas tempered with experience, give REAL informational articles on How-To-s to help everyone advance their skills,
In other words, as Randy said - journalists (and photographers) who know how to write and present their materials professionally!
Karen's record matches mine, about 10 to 1! I too quit entering. I called entering all of the comps a large part my Advertising Budget for years, as I had no other to use. No more......

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

I think they should follow the rules............I have noticed a lot of the rules are broken every year, it does make you less interested in entering the contests... bear_wacko

NIKKEL Nikkel Bears
Orient Point, NSW
Posts: 441
rkr4cds wrote:

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?

Bobbi, yes Australian Bear Creations still has multiple patterns in every issue submitted by amazing artists who want to share their talent.  They also practice profiling 3 artists in every issue - usually a new and established artists as well as a revisit to a top-level artist.  This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase lesser known artists who would not otherwise get the opportunity in paper media.  The magazine always has a 'how to' section in every issue, and they include a glossary of 'bear' terms which is always useful when you're new to the industry. 

As you can see, I'm quite fond of ABC magazine, and think it's definitely value for money - particularly when compared to some of the other international mags which are a bit on the lean side in comparison with far less content (in my opinion  bear_ermm )

Marg  bear_original

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

THX Marg, I was blanking on the name, thinking *Australian Creations* but that didn't sound quite right so I knew someone would pop round and fill-in-the-blanks for me.
Our two countries are roughly the same size, though ours is far more residential and your population is *peopled* more with the four-legged type than ours, yet yours still comes up w/a quality magazine written by journalist-style input time after time, year after year.
It's no wonder that so many outside Australia subscribe to it!

Natascha LeftyBears by Natascha Sabo
Posts: 314

Correct me, if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the editor of Australian Bear Creations is a fellow artist, so of course she knows what she is writing about.
Maybe it would help the US-magazines to hire more artists to write for them and as judges for the competitions?

Christine Christine Pike Bears
Norfolk, UK
Posts: 683

Funnily enough, I was just going through a stack of my old magazines and re-reading some of the articles I wrote (some of you may remember that I used to write a column for TBR called "Bear Essentials" and I also wrote features for TB&F and some of the UK mags too).  I haven't written a word about teddy bears for more than five years however, which is sad.  From my point of view, the mags stopped being interested in features with 'meat' in them a long time ago - my husband jokes that features are only there to fill in the spaces between adverts.  I really tried, but no one cared that much about the content, just the advertising bottom line - even though I argued until I was blue in the face that, without great content the readership would fall off and thus the advertisers would be reaching fewer and fewer people... it seems I was right, although it gives me no pleasure to be so.  As for not publishing contact details unless you take out an ad - this has been standard practice (at least, in the UK), for many years.  I think it amounts to blackmail, but that's just my personal opinion.  Here's my tip - if you are thinking about taking out an ad, ask for the circulation figures - and then divide them by at least three because mags like to assume that for every magazine bought, at least three people will read the same copy.


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

THANK YOU, Christine!!
You've just verified what so many of us have been conjecturing about. It's nice to've heard from Ms Experience!
We figured we weren't too far off the mark...
I do remember reading you - I have Brit connections.

So sad. All the fluff and adverts now. There's a bit more good stuff in TB&F than TBR here in the States and online at Bears & Buds—I know that all 3 editors read here in TT regularly—I used to write articles for Bears & Buds until an ongoing assignment has been absorbing my time, though I hope it ends within a year and I can return, because they do welcome authors with content there!

Great suggestion about the 3/division fact; never heard that one before...
Thx again for your input.
We've hijacked our thread from the GTs to awards in general to magazines worldwide, and that's not a bad thing as they're all interrelated.

karenaus Melbourne
Posts: 694

Have you heard back from them Bobbi? I wonder if they have any idea how they are putting off artists from entering in the future, with what seems to be a lack of planning re deadlines and announcements, and then not sticking to their own rules.

Kathy Posts: 6

I'm coming in on this debate a little late because I have been busy finishing my latest book (not teddy related) and haven't had time to visit the forum for a while. This thread caught my eye because some of it relates to teddy bear magazines and I have been involved on the editorial side of a number of UK publications for many years. First though, with regard to the Awards issue, I must say that it's clearly not right for any organisation to disregard its own rules. I think the appropriate action is to raise the subject with the organisers and ask for clarification, and keep asking until a satisfactory explanation has been given.

On the secondary subject of teddy bear magazines, I haven't seen the American mags for ages so I can't comment directly on their content. What I can say is that the presence of any teddy bear magazine on news vendors' shelves helps to promote the teddy bear world and introduces the concepts of bear artistry and collectable bears to a wider audience. Thus the mags play an important role in bringing in new enthusiasts. Yet magazines are expensive to produce and without advertising revenue they cannot exist. At the same time, I deplore the practice of charging featured artists for the inclusion of their contact details and would never work for any publication that did this since the piece then becomes advertorial rather than journalism. I have always believed that people will want to advertise in a quality publication and therefore there is no need for strong arm tactics - put simply, if the content of the publication is good, the advertisers should follow.

That brings me to the subject of editorial content in teddy bear mags. I am not a bear maker and never will be one (although I have taken a bear making course in order to understand the basics) but I believe all the same that my credentials for editing teddy mags are good. I have been collecting vintage and artist-made bears for about 25 years and have watched some of today's brightest teddy artists start out on their careers. When I put a teddy bear magazine together I try to consider every possible reader - not just those who make or collect artist bears but also those who are interested in veteran teddies, modern limited edition bears, character bears, teddy bear history, bear restoration, real bears etc etc. There is a vast amount of material to be covered and it would be short-sighted to concentrate on just one aspect. Therefore with the Teddy Bear Annual, the publication I currently edit, I attempt to bring together a mix of all the interesting aspects of this wonderful hobby of ours.

Finally, I must respond to the comment that 'most of the Bear mags have been taken over by accountants who know little about journalism or Bearmaking. . For the record, I can confirm I am not and never have been an accountant and I hope I do know quite a bit about journalism because it is how I have earned my living for the past fifteen years.

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

'Like' is too weak a descriptive word to use, Kathy. We know you to be a fair-minded person who pours your heart & soul into your product, for both side of the table in the board room, which you represent: your staff as well as your readership - in other words - both sides of the equation. Keep up the good work and long may you remain successful!

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