I've entered a couple of competitions and was lucky enough to have
my pieces chosen by the judges. It's helped me in a number of ways...
Of course it's good for the ego to win, it's given me so much more
confidence in my designs. I haven't had any formal design education
and I work alone in my studio, so I constantly question my designs
and do not have anyone to give me an objective opinion. It was
wonderful to have someone within my field say that they thought my
work was good. Of course I still question what I do, but I'm a little
more confident of my design decisions now.
Entering those competions also pushed me to make more ambitious
pieces that I wouldn't otherwise have had the chance to. I work on
commission, so the pieces I make always have design parameters, with
a competition entry I can make exactly what I want and try out more
risky techniques and design ideas.
It's helped my business in that it has given me credibility in the
eyes of those who commission from me. I usually never meet, sometimes
never speak to my clients, and I know in the past people have been a
little reticent about commissioning a piece over the internet from
someone they've never met. They are worried I might just disappear
into the ether with their deposit. Winning the Saul Bell Award has
certainly helped allay their fears.
Of course the prize money is wonderful, and the thrill of going to
the Saul Bell Awards in Las Vegas and meeting the wonderful people at
Rio Grande was a truly fantastic experience and one which I will