Friday, February 12, 2010

Submitting artwork for publication ("What do you plan for it?" Series)

Cleaning up today, I came across this altered cabinet card.  I recently received it back from Somerset Studio, and it got buried on my desk.  I was so thrilled when it returned, but not for the obvious reason . . . more on that later.  The collage, "Little Boy Blue," got me thinking about submitting artwork for publication.  I used to do it a lot but not so much anymore.  Here's a list of some of my publications:

Mixed Media: Somerset Studio – “Envy”, altered domino, Jan./Feb. 2008; “Remembering Mom”, collage, Sep./Oct. 2006; Somerset Studio Gallery – “Time Flies”, collage, Summer 2007; “Patron”, collage, Winter 2007; Stacy Julien Altogether Too Happy blog, Feb.29, 2008 – “Can’t Stop Me”, Paint & Ink Panel
Rubber Stamped Cards: Rubber Stamper Magazine – Jan./Feb. 2007, Dec. 2003, March 2003; Club Scrap Gallery – various, online at
Scrapbook Layouts: Memory Makers Special Issue, Fast & Easy Scrapbooking; Club Scrap Gallery – various, online at

There were several reasons I used to submit my art work:
1.  It spurred me to create.  The calls placed in the magazines gave me new ideas and gave me a deadline by which I needed to create something to submit.
2. I like seeing my name and artwork in print.  I'm vain - what can I say?
3. I think publications look good on my artist resume, which I created when I was thinking about how to become more serious artist.

If you do want to submit work, I find that it really helps to find a publication whose style matches your own.  In both their magazine and on their website, most publications publish calls for specific artwork and describe the type of unsolicited, general artwork they are willing to consider.  Meet the published deadline, and follow their submission guidelines to the letter. I was very successful submitting to Somerset (they accepted about 70% of the artwork I sent them for publication) because my style matched theirs and I followed their guidelines.

In any event, I haven't submitted in a long time.  I think because I now feel the need to create art and make time to do it, even without a deadline. When I feel the need for inspiration, I can always answer a challenge on one of the wonderful blogs out there.  Also, I get to see my name in print and get fabulous feedback on my art here on my very own blog.  I hadn't looked at or thought about my artists resume in a long time - becoming a serious artists in that way just isn't in my plans right now, and that's okay.  The one thing I do miss is picking up magazines and looking at all the new artwork that's out there.  

What about you?  Do you submit your art for publication?  Why or why not?  Any hints for others who want to have their artwork published?

Oh, the reason I was so happy to get "Little Boy Blue" back was because Somerset held onto it for two years! Usually Somerset will send something back right away if they don't want it and will hold it for a while if they plan to use it.  But they never held anything for longer than a year before.  I had assumed it had been lost, and I would never get it back.  It's one of my favorite pieces because it reminds me of my little brother, Tom because my mother used to call him little boy blue and because of the quote on the collage (my sisters-in-law who read my blog will understand that).  I'm glad he's back - safe and sound on my messy desk.


Amy said...

Rinda I have never submitted any of my pages and I have not really considered it. Scrapbooking is very personal for me and I didn't like the idea of sharing journaling with an entire readership - I know I blog, but I feel as though if I were to be submitting to themes or calls I'd be creating for the sake of it - then my journaling would not be as sincere and then I would lose motivation .... opposite to you I suppose.
The scrap mags in Australia are not my style at all. Few show how to incorporate larger sections of journaling and most are about the latest product - which is fine, it is more the lack of variety and the percieved idea that the majority of people make heavily embellished pages. Many Australian scrappers are incredibly talented their works are absolute pieces of art and quite simply, amazing.
Simple Scrapbooks was a magazine I subscribed to and they published pages and ideas which I found to be very inspiring - being based in the US I didn't feel the need to submit and for the most part I didn't think my pages were of the quality they would have been looking for.
I'm finding the blogging world to be extremely insipring and motivating and I've found some wonderful Australian bloggers who scrap similarly to me. I love the variety of art/scrapping/card making/photography/mixed media my international blogging friends bring to the table - it is an amazing experience to follow the journey of so many talented women :-) I've strayed from the topic .... again!

Connie Lutz said...

Vanity? No - it's always exciting to see our art in print. And, if you value the publication that accepts your art, it's another form of validation. I haven't submitted in a number years..may need to re-think that!

Mommy2CVC said...

LOL! When I saw your artwork and read the quote I thought of me and how I am an only child. When I read the rest of your blog I had to laugh again because yeah I can see how that totally fits. LOL!

Margi said...

I love all your work Rinda and think it all should be published! You go girl.

Anonymous said...

I've only submitted for publication once. Interestingly, none of the projects were picked up, but the very week I submitted them to Papercrafts, I got an email from an editor there who wanted to publish a card she'd seen on my blog. It was one I never would have submitted--very, very simple, not one I saw as their style at all. It will be out later this year. Since then I've looked at some submission calls, but haven't responded. I think I'm pretty happy just doing the online challenges, and "publishing" on my blog. Glad your lovely artwork was returned to you.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

LOL - love the quote on your piece here!

I've never submitted any of my work for publication, although I used to think about doing it. When I began reading your post I immediately thought about blogging and how posting my work on my blog is a bit like having it published instantly. Like you, I love the instant feedback as well.

Great post here, Rinda. :o)

Elizabeth said...

No, I have never submitted any of my work for publication. I never really thought of doing that. After reading your blog, I now wonder why. I read lots of scrap/art magazines and see the work of others but just realized they are people who like to create--same as me! Who knows, maybe soon I'll submit a creation.

humel said...

I love your 'Little Boy Blue', it's fab!

I've had several articles published, but I got to a point where I was only ever creating to a deadline and specification and wasn't enjoying the process so I took a break. If I have what I think is a good and original idea I might approach the editor of one of the mags that's used my work before, but mostly now I'd rather craft for me - and being able to post it on my blog means I get the fun of sharing it anyway :-)

Beth Norman said...

I would love to see my name in print too. Good for you, and congratulations. I really wish I could do nicer collages and am looking for a good book to purchase on it. Any suggestions?

Sian said...

This is another wonderful, thought provoking post Rinda. Your pub list is impressive! and I love the Somerset magazines..they are very hard and expensive to get hold of here.
This time last year a page of mine was picked up from our UK forum and pubbed in "Scrapbook Inspirations", so I started to submit and was pubbed several times and did one commissiioned piece too. Very sadly, the magazine closed before Christmas so that option has gone. I'm so glad I've discovered blogging as a way of sharing what I do and I really value the feedback I get. Seeing my name in print was fun because I used to dream of being a journalist but I get just as much fun from blogging now.

Lizzie said...

Yes, it's great to have your work published - and not vain to enjoy seeing it in print!

I made a "New Year's Resolution" last September (that's when my Year starts!) to follow up any opportunities for publication of my layouts. I'm so glad I kept it!
I submitted a piece to S.I. last year, in response to a specific call from Shimelle, and it was accepted for the March 2010 edition... of course the mag. then folded, which means there will be no March edition! They have photographed the layout and kept it for future use.

However, a new S.I. book is due very soon - a Spring Inspirations book. One of my layouts will be published in this and I'm a bit excited.
Sadly, the stuff I sent for the recent Summer book call doesn't seem to have done so well, but there's always next time!