Monday, August 27, 2007

Saatchi Showdown! Wild Ride!

What a ride! I've been in a love/hate relationship with Saatchi these past 5 months. I entered the competition on a whim. I was new to myspace, and some artist friends had entered round one. I voted for them and decided to try it out and enter.

When round one ended, I checked out the winner: the fabulous Laurie Lipton! So unexpected to see a graphite drawing (near to my heart) win such a competition against thousands of enteries. I found her here on myspace and friended her to congratulate her on her success.

Round two began, and no one could have been more surprised than I was to end up in the head to head a week later! I only sent a bulletin out to my 200 or so myspace friends and 300 or so personal contacts. I do have a large family and many friends in my neighborhood and in the art world. What I found was that people I didn't even know were sending the link on to friends, and those friends were voting and sending it on. My photorealist sweet subject matter appeals to the general public. They get it. No trying to figure out the meaning behind the piece. A pop contest. It was the round with the highest entry rate, over 6000! Most other rounds were in the 4000 range. Yet against the odds, "Chains" was one of two chosen works! I don't kid myself that I deserved it because I saw entries that blew my piece away! I give all the credit to my cute quirky model. A Fox some have said. Check out her art work in my last blog.

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

The head to head against installation artist Albo Jeavons was a gut wrencher and I went to bed Sunday night thinking I'd lost, although I'd been in the lead the whole week. His score had been rising all day Sunday and mine was going lower, til we were neck and neck. With the trend as it was, I thought for sure I was out of it. Albo and I chatted online, we both agreed it was a wild ride and neither of us knew what was going to happen. I was so surprised to see I was the winner, and my inbox was loaded.

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

It wasn't too long before the nasty Saatchi blogs started with my "insipid" work being the easy target for artists doing, shall we say, edgier work. Hard to see people bashing you and your work in a public format. It was an eye opener because in my idealistic view I thought most artists were basically supportive of one another. Also saw threads here and elsewhere suggesting any winners were cheating. If I cheated it must have been in my sleep. It was then that I decided Fame, even just a drop of it, was not all it's cracked up to be.

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

A long stretch of waiting and watching other winners come along. 10 more! 5 months of watching and friends asking, so when can I vote? Three more months, thanks, I'll let you know! We're rooting for you Alice!

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

And then, it was here! The day I needed to get my butt in gear and ask for votes against my usual slightly shy and introverted nature. A grueling week of long days, short nights, and some tears of frustration. But honestly there have been more tears of joy, because of the new friend requests, messages, offers of help, bulletins sent out on my behalf, and the love, friendship and support from all of you! I've pushed myself to get my work shown, and the rewards have been enormous!

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

So, tomorrow will be a huge relief! No more begging, no more pushing, no more anxiety. I most likely will finish somewhere in the middle of the field. Thanks to all of you who have said I should be on top. That I don't believe. There are some really fantastic artists in the mix, I'm honored to have had the opportunity to be up there with them! I've spoken with quite a few, and they've been gracious, supportive and funny. They all are as disconcerted as I to be in this position. A wild ride indeed. It's a silly thing, surely not a true judge of exceptional talent. A popularity contest for sure! Pop art. Nothing wrong with that. Will I be disappointed not going to London? Why sure! But I did ok, didn't stoop to nasty behavior in the sake of winning, and got more exposure in the past few months than I ever could have imagined, or had a right to hope for!

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends!

So, would I recommend you to enter the next Saatchi Showdown! Sure! But be careful what you wish for. Enter to be seen. Winning is tough work. I'm seriously wiped and stressed and generally DONE!!! Frankly, if I by some odd quirk in the stats suddenly leap to the top of the heap overnight, I might seriously go jump in a lake. My sympathies to those two lucky souls!!! Another week of this right now might do me in.

So, thanks for the support and love. Know I appreciate every gesture and I apologize if I didn't say thanks directly. I truly spent as much time saying thanks this week as I did politicking. But I know I missed some of you. Please forgive me, and drop by to say hi soon, ok? (And won't you seriously be glad to stop seeing all of those begging bulletins lined up every morning?)

I Got By With A Little Help From My Friends. THANKS TO YOU ALL!

Love, Alice xx