This morning I went to my mailbox and found a fancy envelope with my name on it.
It was from an award show across the pond and contained a beautiful, glossy, die-cut brochure announcing a call for entries.
Now, having done a few pieces that I am proud of this year, I decided to log onto the site and check it out.
I looked at the list of judges and they were quite impressive. I looked at the rest of the site and was leaning towards entering a piece or two until I checked out the entry fees.
What I saw turned me off immediately. $300 in American currency for a single entry.
Now, some may call me cheap but I am beginning to understand why we don’t see more work from “the little people” being entered into award shows.
In reality, besides the power of a winning entry’s press release, I really don’t see the need to pay $300 USD to have somebody tell me they like my work. I liked my work. My client liked my work. Hopefully, if I did my job well, the general public liked my work.
I started surfing the web and found that for $300 USD, there are plenty of ways I can skip the shoulder pat from someone else and reward myself.
A flight to Vegas is roughly the same price. So is the new barbeque I was looking at.
I can enjoy a day playing the top golf course in Ontario for less money. I can spend a weekend at a spa, or once again jump out of an airplane to feel that rush I obviously crave. There are hundreds of things I can buy or treat myself to with that kind of money.
I tossed the beautiful brochure in the recycling box. I think that for now, I’ll skip this type of show and continue entering smaller ones that make more sense.
In leaving the agency scene behind, I am beginning to accept the fact that I will probably never see an award on my shelf from an extremely prestigious show. Even if I created work that I feel could have a chance, as a freelancer, I will forever find it hard to pony up the cash to enter the piece. In my mind, I might as well take $300, walk over to a casino’s roulette wheel, randomly pick a number, and lay it all down.
Unfortunately, I am beginning to understand, that’s just not me.