Trying to impress others and win can be stressful.
I am not one for losing. I hate losing. Despise it.
Just ask me at 1 am after a 5 game losing streak in League. I will still say:
"Just one more." Does my husband stop me? pfft of course not he hates losing too! That doesn't happen as much nowadays...or nights. Oh, they all blend together anyways.
This desire to win and be competitive is a good thing. It drives me to get better or get really really salty after which I get better. I will admit that I have had a hard time joining contests in the past. Particularly art contests. I have no problem joining an equestrian obstacle course race with no practice or on a horse I have never ridden before. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I don't. I don't care. I know, so contradictory to what I said before but I'm just glad I get to experience it!
But an art contest? Uhhh...umm..er...rrr...
My P.E. teacher, in like, 2nd grade had this saying: if you had fun then you won! He had a really really good point. It should be fun.
*But losing isn't fun Cristina! *
That is why I aim to make "having fun" a priority because then I am not stressed out of my mind trying to win or heartbroken when I don't. I am taking the same approach to art contests as I did with the horse competitions.
I joined a couple of art contests last year and I did not win but I didn't go in expecting to. Set that bar loooow. Ok, that doesn't mean I didn't try. I was hopeful and I put in a lot of effort and time into it. Ultimately, I decided. Well, heck, I want to just be a part of it and it is something I have never done before so why not?
Even though I didn't win a physical prize or bragging rights. I got a ton of experience and a sense of accomplishment. That counts for a lot.
I created a finished piece of artwork before a certain deadline. Yay. I got to try new techniques because I was pushed out of my comfort zone by the prompt/subject of the contest. I got to see other people's take on the same subject. I had a ton of support from friends and family. Who doesn't like a little bit of praise?
These were all good positive things and after experiencing them, joining contests is not as hard. I plan to join a lot more this year and I hope you do too!
Now, there is usually an art contest going on somewhere so keep your eyes peeled. I don't mean to join every contest you come across. I suggest you join contests you would have fun joining or think you will benefit from being challenged or have a prize you really really want! ;) Social media is always a place to look at. A lot of brands have contests going throughout the year. Also, don't forget to check locally what is going on. They may be closer than you think.