Here's the packet of entries that I'll be mailing in tomorrow. Let me tell you the seven reasons I believe Spectrum is well worth entering:
1. Winners get in a book
It's one of the few competitions where accepted entries become part of a book that's actually distributed in bookstores, and that book is actually cherished by fellow artists and art buyers.
2. All media welcome
Spectrum manages to keep a good balance between digital and physical artwork, both of which are at such a high level that the technique doesn't matter, but the design and draftsmanship does.
The range of work in Spectrum is broad and inclusive, from comics to concept art, sculpture to pen-and-ink, horror to humor, mainstream to experimental. Spectrum manages to transcend being a tight-knit club of the same people. It represents artists from all around the world, including United States, Europe, China, Australia, and South America. It always includes a mind-expanding mix of fantasy, horror, comic art, science fiction, paleoart, and the surreal.
You can submit your entries either digitally online or you can mail them in as physical tearsheets / printouts. I opted to mail in my entries because I figured that the jurors would get sore butts and sore eyes from looking at stuff on the screen and they might feel more pleasantly disposed when they're up on their feet walking around the room. (Physical entries are laid out on tables in a big hotel ballroom.)
5. Fees are cheap
The entry fees are among the most reasonable of art competitions out there: just $20 per piece, and $40 for a related series of five pieces. There are no additional hidden publication or hanging fees. And if you get a piece accepted, they send you a copy of the book worth $45. They've worked hard to keep that price low, and I can tell you that the guys behind Spectrum are in it for the love of the art, not doing it as a money-making scheme.
The jury changes every year, and that keeps the art fresh. The jurors are always leaders in the field of imaginative art. This year's jury is one of the best. Shown at left is their work, from top to bottom: Justin Gerard, Virginie Ropars, Greg Ruth, Annie Stegg Gerard, and Dice Tsutsumi.
7. No prescreening
Entries are not prescreened: Each and every entry will be reviewed by each member of the jury. The jurors travel all the way to California to review the work in person, and they don't compare opinions as they're going through the entries. The competition to get a piece accepted is pretty fierce, but tough competition is a good thing.
The deadline is coming up on January 26, so there are still three week left.
Here's the Call for Entries page for Spectrum 22