Kate is an exhibitor/member of the Riverside Artists Gallery in Marietta. On Friday evenings, once a month, Marietta (Ohio) sponsors the Art Walk, where there are many businesses featuring handmade and fine arts stay open later than usual, and there are vendors and musicians of all kinds in the streets. We visited Kate's spot in the gallery. One of her most recent pieces is this one:
Love those colors!
During our visit we talked about marketing opportunities and getting your name out there in the big, wide world of handmade jewelry. I asked her if she'd ever considered submitting her work to a magazine for publication.
"Oh my!" she exclaimed. "I don't really think I am ready for THAT. Do you think my things are good enough?"
We all struggle with that big question. (The answer to hers is YES, good grief, YES!!)
In the Summer 2013 issue of BELLE ARMOIRE JEWELRY, Jen Cushman writes about the submission process in her regular column, ART CHOOSES YOU. The article is entitled, "A Turn in the Spotlight", and you'll find it on page 124...right there with Jen smiling at you.
Jen mentions that the "process of publishing is simply that---a process. Media is a business, and business rules and etiquette apply just as in any other profession."
Yes! In the back pages of most craft publications on the market, especially those on mixed media art and jewelry making, you will find explicit rules on how to submit your artwork and/or ideas to their particular publication. Many have published deadlines as well as suggestions regarding what the publication will be looking for at that time (so you can go ahead and get your thinking cap on!)
They also give directions on how to approach them for submission. Some will ask you to simply go ahead and mail your items to a certain address; others will require a *brief* email query before sending. Some publications require that funds to cover return of your materials be included with the item(s) you submit; others do not.
Most all of them do not mind if you have blogged about your item or shown it once on a Facebook page (but DO check, as there are a few that don't want you to show it ANYWHERE before you allow them to consider it). NONE of the publications wants you to submit photos to several editors at once, waiting for the first bite. All want an EXCLUSIVE to your project, photo or article when it comes to print.
None of them will accept submissions that are copies of work you have seen, or anything made from a kit. Few will accept submissions of exact techniques learned in a class. If they do allow it, full props must be given to the teacher and the class you took.
Are you already thinking, AWWWW.....this is TOO HARD?
I get ya. I think that was going through Kate's mind, too!
Let me ask you this: Do you blog? Do you think you can write a tutorial?
Here is an example of a very professionally written tut:
Michelle Mach has been published over 100 times in print, and I'm pleased to say that once in a bit, she provides a tutorial for the B'sue Boutiques Jewelry Supplies website. If you need a great example of what you'd need to do for magazine submission, this is probably a perfect one.
In Jen Cushman's article, we're told that to take the first step, you need to make a few pieces---maybe a small body of work--that are authentically YOUR OWN, YOUR STYLE, that express who YOU ARE, as an artist.
Next, go ahead....wrap them up....ship them out. Jen says not to put too much pressure on yourself. Rejection is INDEED possible! (Oh how I know. I hate rejection as much as anyone; time is precious, it's kinda like, hey, I don't have time for this rejection PROCESS!)
But rejection is PART of the process. You may need several tries. The fact is, eventually, you WILL be published. And then, after being published, you may not be, another time you try! But keep at it. Maybe your items will not be right for one publication, but your design type might be perfect for another.
Jen went through the process, stem to stern. Now she has a column in BELLE ARMOIRE JEWELRY, and recently was FEATURED....literally, pages of her pieces!...spotlighted in the magazine and ON THE COVER!
During our little brainstorm session, I actually said to Kate, "Sheesh, I keep saying I have to do this, but time is so short, I can't be fiddling around with these people." WELL: on thinking that out, I realized that *my* fiddling around is more like, NOT DOING IT, holding back from doing it, NOT taking the time to fully experience the PROCESS.
So then, we were thinking, HEY! What if we could get a *bunch* of the VERY QUALIFIED jewelry artisans from the B'sue Boutiques Creative Group at Facebook to start submitting like crazy fools. Some of them already do, like Joan Williams of Lil Ruby at Etsy, and Cathy Buckley of Cat's Meow Jewelry. Joan has been published quite a number of times!
If we as a group did that, IN TIME, it's almost a given that many would start getting those lovely CONGRATULATIONS! letters and emails.
MAYBE a whole bunch of us might appear in print all at the same time!
Maybe even, in the same magazine!
At this writing, we have over 1,100 members at the Creative Group. It's entirely possible that this dream could become reality.
So, what do you think? Can you get on the stick with me? I'm gonna do this. I'm tired of saying I don't have time, tired of fiddling around. We are a very gifted group; many of us have been at our craft for a very long time. I've been published here and there over the years, but I have never dedicated myself to making it happen.
And what if you're new? Don't think for a minute that you can't be published yet, that you are not ready. If your work is original, looks good in a photograph, is something a publication feels would garner attention amongst its readers....you totally could be published. There is no prerequisite amount of time required for you to be at your workbench, before acceptance.
So whether you're an old hand at what you do, like me....or brand new...here's to US.
It's my time. AND yours. What do you say? Let's DO IT.