I have been pondering this entire conversation regarding the rules for entry and the reasons for those rules and I am a little cinfused by the message this sends. It sort of goes against everything that we all strive for in our design work...originality and the concept of copyright.
When we buy a magaine there are projects in it with insructions but these are copyrighted and we are all supposed to take inspiration from these pieces...not duplicate them! Many times these designs will teach us a new stitch or a new way to use an old stitch or or some brand new idea. Many times they show some great new way to put things together. Either way we are told everywhere by everyone that these are not put in the magazines for us to go out an reproduce them in their entirety!
We are always talking about how we should be creative enough to use our own color choices and find our own beads rather than demand the exact color that the designer used...basically just to be creative and play around with it!
The rules for this contest make it sound like they want these pieces to be able to be copied in their entirety for mass production. I understand that they want the process to be simple enough for anyone to sit down and make themselves their own necklace or bracelet etc...but why are they pushing for every single component to be available for mass market?
In my opinion this mixed media category could be perfect for providing inspiration. You can see how someone put together a bunch of "found" objects and made them beautiful. So now go out and "find" yourself some cool found objects and make yourself something beautiful...you can follow the technique of the designer to the letter but with your own creatively found objects!
I really do understand why they want to make sure the materials used are available to everyone but it does sort of go against everything that we strive for as designers ourselves and everything that we are being told about copyright..
I would think that this magazine would want to really push the idea of originality in the fullest concept. Not to just come up with your own design and let everyone else out there copy it...but to promote the concept of being inspired by these designs and finding cool new materials or whatever to make your own piece (not the same as making it your own design though).
And this is where we run into the grey area because just changing the materials does not always qualify as "making it your own" in terms of design. But this is the point I am trying to make here is about the rules of the contest and the purpose of publishing designs with instructions.
If we are pushing the designers to be creative and original we should also be pushing the magazine readers to be creative and original when using these designs from the Bead Star magazine!
I hope I made some sense here...I know this is a long post and I tend to ramble but I hope I got my point across somewhat clearly!
I’m a professional artist who has juried shows and mentored budding artists. The best advice I can give is that you can never know what the editors or ‘jury’ has in mind and that their vision, not yours is the only one that matters. So many things in the art/craft world are blurry especially when it comes to personal preference and taste.
You can make plans for next year’s competition based on your experiences this year, but if the editors change the whole dynamic and expectations will change. Styles and personal taste also can change over the course of a year. The rules will change as they are perfected-this is still a fairly young competition (in its 4th year) and competitions change as they are established.
There have been many moments in my career when I have been disappointed because I thought I gave the jury exactly what they wanted, but ended up empty handed. There have also been times where the piece that I thought least likely to succeed won 1st place. You just never know. You have to do your best, feel successful in that, and move on. I know it is hard sometimes, but trying to figure out what is going on in the minds of the editors is fruitless. (I’m a silver-smith by trade and used all cold connections for my entry to the metals category and that entry was not chosen.)
This was the first time I have ever entered a competition like this, and was very excited to be a part of it. I do not know how voting was done last year, but I thought the judges gave a wide variety of styles, colors, and skill levels for the public to choose from in each category.
The only thing I found distracting was the vote tallies being visible. I highly doubt the outcome of the contest would have been different if the tallies and not been visible, however, it makes it obvious who were the winners and that should be saved for when the magazine is published. There would also be less finger pointing and personal resentment after the voting closed. If it is simply a matter of IT issues, I’m sure they will revise the website next year.
I also want to comment on self promotion. As an artist/crafter/professional that is trying to get your work out, it is your job to promote yourself-no one else is going to do that for you. It did not say in the rules that you could not post pictures of your piece to your blogs, Facebook pages, send emails, or encourage friends and family to vote for your entry. I found examples of this type of promotion going back to the first competition in 2008 still visible on blogs, including some winners.
If the individuals that you are promoting to do not like it, they won’t vote. If anyone got votes because they promoted their work, then they had the support of the community and they deserved that vote.
Entering the Beading Daily community and voting for Bead Star was not an easy process to master. My mother didn’t vote because she couldn’t figure out how-she’s a business owner and uses the internet for virtually everything. If it wasn’t that important to her to vote for her own daughter, how many perfect strangers were willing to vote for my piece after just seeing my status update on Facebook?
I hope this helps and doesn’t hinder. There seems to be a very healthy happy community on this forum that really helps one another and nurtures beginner jewelry makers. It would be unfortunate if there were hurt feelings between members because of a competition.
Congrats to all of the finalists, in a small digital image you conveyed your vision. Good luck to everyone!
Tia Dalma:I would think that this magazine would want to really push the idea of originality in the fullest concept. Not to just come up with your own design and let everyone else out there copy it...but to promote the concept of being inspired by these designs and finding cool new materials or whatever to make your own piece (not the same as making it your own design though).
You go girl
Thanks it makes sense and I think it gives us all something more to think about, well done!
skrhoadesdesign I agree with you totally and you said it wonderfully.
Boy did I open a can or worms...lol I hope you all realize all I wanted from this was some information and some clarification as I am new to this contest and very new to jewelry making. I would hope there are no hurt feelings and you can't learn if you don't ask questions!
“I also want to comment on self promotion. As an artist/crafter/professional that is trying to get your work out, it is your job to promote yourself-no one else is going to do that for you. It did not say in the rules that you could not post pictures of your piece to your blogs, Facebook pages, send emails, or encourage friends and family to vote for your entry. I found examples of this type of promotion going back to the first competition in 2008 still visible on blogs, including some winners.”
First off skrhoadesdesign I want to say I agree with this statement a 100 percent!!!! I think too that self promotion is an aspect of being a “bead star” now interweave press might not agree with my statement and it is just my opinion
I don’t work for interweave press and I am not friends with any of the editors so I can not speck to why they chose to move the contest into the forum and off of the web page it was on or about why they set things up the way they did this year and exposed the vote and view counts
Personally I believe one of the reasons they moved the contest in to the forum was because many members have griped on the forums about it being a popularity contest ( a comment that annoys me to no end! if every one has the right to promote then the playing field is even and in the end it probably cancels it’s self out) this may or may not be true. It may have had nothing to do with the decision to move it in to the forum or not it seems to me like many of the contestants perceived this change with in the first day and I would hazard to say the vote counts reflected that. What I do know is that early in the thread during the contest one of the editors posted this statement
“But the bottom line is that we want Bead Star to be an extension of the Beading Daily community, voted on by peers from the Beading Daily community, and reflect the best jewelry-making that the Beading Daily community has to offer! The new voting system should be more equitable and discourage attempts to sway the vote.”
I think it is our opportunity to address and discuss this aspect of the contest and address it openly on the forum maybe the editors will read this and realize that there is a bigger picture maybe all they have heard are the griping about “popularity contests” I think the promotion aspect of the contest has been a strong factor of the contest all along and in the past it is why and what brought so much attention and over all strong showing of votes. the contest was hailed by the magazine in the first issue as the “American Idol of the beading world” there is no denying there was a PLUBLIC vote aspect to it and promoting the contest was good for the contest. (Like I have stated before about casting in each category before being able to submit your vote in a way that is more vote for everyone) personally I think there is nothing wrong with that and it was what I liked about the contest. It is a part of the joy and excitement I witnessed back in the beginning it is what brought me to the membership bead star was very much its own thing
One could ask was the lack of turnout from the membership truly dew to bad publishing or advertising to its members through e mails? If you look back over the past few years did they really do that much less this year then in other years to promote it?
Personally I think bead star should be opened back up even if you can vote for at least four in each category but you have to vote in all categories and the vote should be hidden.
And I think the rules should be rewritten one way or the other about promotion. That was the saddest thing about this year was that everything changed with out warning. And in a way it made things very ugly for a lot of reasons
And Sara on a personal note I want you to know I love your web page and I truly think your jewelry is stunning!! I hope I did not unnerve you to much that last night. I could not help my self , good luck in the next phase of the contest it’s up to the editors now!
" the future belongs to those who belives in the beauty of their dreams"
"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe
See all of the winning entries when the magazine hits the newsstands on December 27th.