Are Print Competitions Worth It? | Melody Smith
2014. I will never forget that year. I was in a place with my work where I did not know how to move forward. My friends and colleagues at the time could no longer offer me advice other than “this is amazing.” But deep down I knew I was not there. I had seen amazing work. I needed—as my good friends Luke and David Edmonson have stated—refinement. This little term changed my entire body of work in the course of seven years of WPPI and PPA/IPC print competition. In that first year I entered three photos with the help and support of my best friend and colleague, Jennifer Brindley. My first image judged was in the premier category. I was a wreck! My heart was beating so loud I was sure the entire silent room could hear it and identify me as the maker. Then the whole room erupted in cheers as my scores came across as GOLD. My life in that moment was forever changed and of course my soul screamed with validation. Then the conversation on the image began (every image entered receives verbal love feedback) and Jerry Ghionis walked in the room and saw me crying in the back like a lunatic. I can still hear him in my head in his Australian accent, “Was that your image!? Beautiful work.” He hugged me and I took home my first trophy of second place.
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