It's a little bit of late news, but I should mention that a piece I made for James Gurney's "Lionfish Shampoo" art contest was printed in Issue 102 of ImagineFX Magazine. What started as a fun dabble in Art Nouveau design (and a good excuse to draw noodle hair) ended up as an incredibly rewarding experience. The contest got me into contact with one of the greatest living illustrators/educators, introduced me to some awesome contestants, and got me my first piece of published work!
You can see a picture of the article on James Gurney's blog here.
So how do you find those elusive art contests?
- Follow art blogs. The ones with daily entries are more likely to mention contesty things, like Muddy Colors and Gurney Journey.
- Some of the more well known call-for-entry contests have been compiled on Google Drive
- Check out several of the websites under the Communities section at Illustration Age. Many of them hold fun "challenges" that will get your artwork scene by a large audience. These include CG hub, ConceptArt.Org, deviantArt, Doodlers Anonymous, Illustration Friday.
- Listen to art-related podcasts. You can hear some of the latest buzz about the art world. Again, some links at Illustration Age under Podcasts
- Read the news on Art Organization websites, such as those at Illustration Age under Organizations
- Be a part of social-network Illustration groups like Illustration Networking Party on Facebook
- Subscribe to art magazines. Magazines like ImagineFX hold their own contests and publish the winner's artwork in featured articles. Oh look! The front page has news about a creature design contest being held by Helpful Bear Productions.
Entering art contests can be a gamble because you never really know what the judges are looking for, but if you look for contests that inspire you, you will end up with a piece of artwork that you're proud of even if you don't place.