Photo: Finkelstein’s Center
Each year, more talented artists are competing for the same number of Indie Craft Parade spots. The jury may change each year, but what they’re looking for doesn’t. As you prepare your applications, we wanted to share a few tips that could help you stand out from the crowd.
We state that work will be selected based on how well it aligns with the vision of Indie Craft Parade, as well as its:
Here are a few ways you can showcase your strengths in these areas with your application.
This the primary method jury members use to determine the quality of your work. We cannot stress enough the importance of good photography. When you submit an application, you have 4 photos and a brief description of your work to put in front of the jury. Make sure those photos are impressive. If you’re not fully confident in your photography skills, you can brush up on these basics or ask for tips from someone you know who takes great photos.
Here are some notable ways to ensure your photos show off your work:
Show more than one product. Photo: Merciful Hearts Farm
Use a neutral background. Photo: Rachel Feece Pottery
Give your product context. Photo: Pogoshop
Or let it have the spotlight. Photo: Lily Pottery
The vision of Indie Craft Parade:
We are looking for the highest quality handmade goods in the realm of modern craft. The emphasis is on quality and modern. Experience and background aren’t a deciding factor; if you create the most amazing handcrafted work, we don’t care if you’ve been doing it for 30 years or 3 months, we want to see it! This isn’t your grandma’s church bazaar, not a place where you’ll find “country crafts” or monogrammed tupperware. We feature modern craft; high quality work with a fresh and unique spin.
Also, as a sidenote, if you typically participate in art shows, you already know you’ll want to have a varied price range, with plenty of items that can be sold at an affordable price point. One of Indie Craft Parade’s goals is to make art more accessible, which means the average price of goods sold at our festival maybe lower than other Fine Art shows. No matter how well made your items are, remember they need to be a good fit for the audience. That doesn’t mean that all your products should be $20 or under, but just be aware that for our show, the more affordable items sell better. So bring those beautiful big ceramic vases or original framed paintings, but also have plenty of mugs or prints that are offered at a lower price point.
2011 Booth: Illyria Pottery
Originality, Uniqueness and Innovation:
You want your work to stand out from other applications, especially if you’re entering a competitive category like To Wear. Our best advice is to show the jury something they haven’t seen before. An item made with an unexpected material or color is going to catch the jury’s eye a lot quicker than something they’ve seen a hundred times before. Also, our jury loves seeing a fresh, modern take on a traditional craft… like a dip-dyed woven basket or a carved wooden pedestal with clean lines.
If you’re afraid your product may get overlooked, consider other ways you can innovate, maybe with interesting packaging. Branding is something our jury considers, so a well-designed logo and packaging will certainly work in your favor.
The jury is looking for signs of craftsmanship, so if an application is completed haphazardly — the description unclear or photos out of focus — this reflects poorly on your work. Take an extra minute to re-read what you’ve written and make sure you submitted the best photos. This extra attention will convey that you care about what you do.
If you have tiny details that can be missed from far away, consider using one of your images for a close up shot that will show off your skills.
Photo: Royal Buffet
Strong, Consistent Branding and Packaging:
Let the jury know you’re serious about your products by paying attention to the small details. The branding and/or packaging of your goods don’t need to be fancy or even professionally produced (though it never hurts to have a pro work on some graphic design for you). However, adding those touches will help make your work memorable…especially if you make a fairly common product. This principle might not apply as much to the fine artists or applicants who have a completely original products, but for the makers of mostly functional goods (cards, soap, artisan food, clothing, etc.), this could be an invaluable tip.
Make sure that your logo, labels, packages are the same or at least complimentary across all of your products. The way the logo, etc is manifested can vary for your products, but everything needs to look like it fits together.
Photo: Herb Garden Soaps
Not every product needs to have extensive branding and packaging, but there should still be a sense of consistency. One way to accomplish this is including your logo on your products themselves. This should never be overdone or overwhelm the art, but a tasteful, simple version of your logo helps show uniformity.
Photo: Chomp Textiles
We hope these tips help you put your best foot forward, and we can’t wait to see all the submissions! You can apply online from June 1 to June 22.