Are you an emerging artist looking to increase your acceptance rate when submitting your work to galleries, publications, and exhibitions? Look no further! In this article, we've compiled seven essential tips that will help you stand out in the art world and improve your chances of getting your art noticed. Whether you're new to the art scene or have been creating for a while, these strategies will give you the edge you need. Let's dive in!

1. Invest in High-Quality Photography (Even on a Budget)

Capturing your artwork with high-quality photographs is crucial. After all, your art deserves to be presented in the best possible light. Don't let poor photography hold you back. Consider these tips:

  • DIY Photography: Start by investing in a camera or using your smartphone to take pictures of your art. There are plenty of free online resources and tutorials to help you get started.
  • Optimal Lighting: Natural daylight is your best friend if you don't have professional lighting. Ensure your artwork is well-lit to capture its true essence.
  • Clean Backgrounds: Use a clean white background for 3-D artwork or crop the image to the edge of the artwork for 2-D pieces.
  • Editing Software: Enhance your images further by using photo editing software like Photoshop or other free alternatives. Adjust lighting and levels to improve overall quality.

2. Follow Instructions Carefully

One common mistake emerging artists make is not following submission instructions. To make it easier for galleries and curators to feature your work, adhere to specific guidelines provided by the organization. Here's why it's essential:

  • Use the Correct File Format: If they request a jpeg, provide a jpeg format image.
  • Labeling Matters: Ensure that your files are labeled correctly as per their requirements.
  • Respect Their Time: Demonstrating respect for their time by following instructions can make a positive impression.

3. Be an Active Member of the Art Community

Building relationships within the art community can lead to future opportunities. Whether online or in person, being an active member matters. Here's how you can engage:

  • Attend Art Events: Commit to visiting exhibitions and attending local art openings to connect with your community.
  • Social Media Engagement: Interact with fellow artists on platforms like Instagram. Leave encouraging comments on their posts and engage genuinely.
  • Support Galleries: Show appreciation for your favorite galleries' curation by leaving positive comments and attending their events.

By nurturing these relationships, you're setting the stage for potential opportunities down the road.

4. Celebrate Your Achievements

Don't be shy about celebrating your accomplishments. Your online presence plays a significant role in how curators and patrons perceive you. Here's what to include:

  • Professional Website: Invest in a clean and professional website to showcase your art. Platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly offer visually appealing options.
  • Essential Elements: Your website should include a portfolio, written bio, artist statement, exhibition list, and contact information.

Having these elements readily available makes it easy for others to learn more about you and your work.

5. Showcase a Cohesive Series of Artwork

When presenting your portfolio, consider including a cohesive series or body of work. This demonstrates your artistic consistency and vision. Curators and galleries appreciate artists who maintain a thematic or stylistic thread across multiple pieces. Here's how to do it:

  • Select Related Artworks: Choose artworks that relate to one another through subject matter, style, or concept.
  • Showcase Versatility: Highlight your versatility while maintaining a consistent theme.

By presenting a series of artwork, you increase the chances of captivating the viewer's interest.

6. Show Respect and Professionalism

Maintaining respect and professionalism throughout your interactions is crucial. Remember that the individuals reviewing your work are human beings with feelings. Whether you receive acceptance or rejection:

  • Seek Constructive Feedback: If you don't get accepted, consider sending a polite message to request feedback. Constructive criticism can be invaluable for your growth.
  • Avoid Insults: Never resort to insulting or criticizing the organization, especially if you hope to collaborate with them in the future.

A respectful and professional demeanor reflects positively on you and fosters positive relationships within the art community.


In conclusion, these seven essential tips are your roadmap to success in the art world. Remember, it's not just about your talent; it's also about how you present and promote your work. By implementing these strategies, you'll not only improve your acceptance rate but also become an active and respected member of the art community.

If you've found these tips valuable and want to delve deeper into the art world, we invite you to explore our podcast, "Art & Cocktails," available on iTunes and at Additionally, you can order "The Complete Smartist Guide," our book designed for emerging artists looking to navigate their career.

To stay updated on our open calls and opportunities, please visit We're here to support and empower artists like you on your creative journey.

Cheers to your artistic success!