Helping Your Child Win An Art Contest (Without Doing The Work For Them)
So your child has expressed interest in sending their work to an art contest. And hey: they actually have a good level of talent! That's awesome, but they're still going to need a little help from their mom. No, you shouldn't actually do the art project for them, but you can help streamline the process and make it easier for them.
Help Them Choose The Medium
Before starting anything, you need to find out what medium your child is interested in pursuing. Many will be interested in drawing or painting. But winning an art contest is often about creating the most eye-catching project. As a result, you should consider a new medium.
What kind of medium? It depends on your child. Some might do really well with molding and sculpting clay. Others might enjoy creating short films or even creating collages out of cut out material. The trick is finding something they're good at and encouraging it.
Brainstorm A Unique Idea
Your child has chosen a medium and they are ready to get started. However, they keep getting stuck on the same simple idea, such as painting a landscape. The following tips will help you and your child create a more engaging piece of artwork that will stand out with the judges:
- Come up with unique colors for your project – for example, use pink or red for grass instead of green
- Think of something you've seen in modern art and find a way to execute it in a child medium – for example, you could take the famous Andy Warhol soup can painting and parody it with a modern cartoon character
- Adapt a violent piece of pop culture to a more tame medium – for example, turning Freddy Krueger into a teddy bear
These ideas are simple enough for just about any child artist to execute. And planning a unique idea will make the execution process that much easier, as your child will have a plan to follow.
Finding The Right Competition
Once you've come up with a great idea and a unique medium, you need to do some research on art contests that your child could win. After all, not all art contests are the same: some will suit your child's skills and others won't. Answer these questions before entering:
- Does this contest accept the medium in which your child is working?
- What were past winners like? Conservative or more outrageous?
- Has your child made art that could match those past winners?
- Do they have a specific "theme" for the art contest that must be met?
- Are there a large number of entries every year?
- What kind of people have won in the past? Is the group mixed or focused solely on a certain sub-set of people?
With these tips, you can help your child do well in any art contest. However, this process can only prepare them to execute the best project: they'll have to do all the hard work themselves. However, with your parental guiding hand, they are definitely heading in the right direction.