A few months ago I decided to enter some pieces in the BeadStar competition. I got pretty excited about it, to the point that I set up a mini photo studio in my dining room and photographed pretty much all of my presentable jewelry that was original. It took a long time, as I'm not a photographer and it took lots of trial and error. The big surprise is that I actually enjoyed doing it! Usually when I'm in the middle of a big, elaborate project I get so stressed out by it that I either become very grouchy or I quit.
I finished the photos, uploaded them, picked names and wrote fanciful descriptions of my pieces and their inspirations. It took forever, but I hoped that I would at least place in the emerging artists category (for previously unpublished jewelry artists.) I finished my entries and waited impatiently.
I got an email from the BeadStar people saying they had WAY more entries than last year and would need longer to evaluate them. Not good! Why didn't I enter last year? I waited again. Eventually I got the (long) list of winners. I scanned it three times for good measure. Nada. No Laurel. Oh well, there's always next year.
UNTIL I finally got my hands on the magazine with pictures of the winners. I had noticed in the rules that bead weaving pieces were being accepted for the first time, which I thought was nice and...well, I don't do much bead weaving so I barely gave it a thought. Well. Nearly all the winners were extremely complex bead weaving pieces! There were almost no examples of the types of jewelry I like to make. In the previous years of the competition, all the winners were somewhat similar in technique/style to my stuff. So, basically, it had gone from bead weaving pieces being accepted to being preferred. I'm not knocking the pieces that won, because they obviously took immeasurable hours and great talent and imagination to produce. I just felt really dumb for spending all that time and entry fee money for something I had NO CHANCE of winning. My simple necklaces can't compete with something that complex.
At least I have the pictures, and some really cool jewelry to wear. I just don't think I'll bother entering BeadStar next year! Below are some of the pics I took.