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Contest Ethics

Posted by: Pamela Shelton on 01/22/2013 - 3:20 PM

I am very new to Fine Art America and love the site, however, how can a person running a contest, win first place? Is it usual? I would assume that those running the contests would be unable to submit...especially the exact piece used to announce the contest.


Most Recent Reply

Posted by: JC Findley on 03/10/2013 - 7:21 PM

Naomi... It is against YOUR ethics to enter a contest you sponsor but ethical has no universal meaning. Thus who is to say it is unethical period?


Posted by: Naomi Richmond on 03/10/2013 - 4:53 PM

The body of principles that we as a society use to decide which behaviors are right, good, proper and fair is called ethics. Putting principles into action, being ethical, is a matter of integrity. Ethics is about what we should NOT do. It is about self-restraint. Simply because an act is permissible or that you can get away with it does not make it proper, or ethical. Being ethical is not doing what you have the power to do.. Ethics are the rules society uses to decide what constitutes right, good, proper and fair conduct. There is a BIG difference between what is right to do and what you have the right to do. It is not ethical to enter a contest which you are hosting.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 01/24/2013 - 11:18 PM

Ah Ha...... that is pretty darned good Jean - & I am loving that ribbons idea !!!

(that's the problem with being an adult - we don't get all those great ribbons & trophys like we did when we we young. " sigh...." )


Posted by: Yury Yanin on 01/24/2013 - 1:25 AM

LOL Jurued contest, Jean, with one juror - yourself. It'll allow you to choose which picture to promote more, which second and the third place. You may also write in the final statement that other participants were also most talented artwork! I am almost tempted to start such contest, but let Janine be the first - it is her bright idea.
Be prepared, Beth, soon we'll have much more contests and you'll have to limit them, allowing a certain number of such contests each month and putting others on a waiting list!


Posted by: Jean Moore on 01/23/2013 - 9:52 PM

LOL, what a wonderfully creative thought a Me contest, put your entire body of work in it (after all the number of entries is unlimited). Buy ribbons from your local hobby shop and take pictures, so afterwards you can plaster the internet announcing that your art took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.


Posted by: Anne Norskog on 01/23/2013 - 8:48 PM

Hi Folks. My contest just ended on Your Best Three Valentines and I have a FAA Group Valentine Cards. The only piece of my art used in this contest was to introduce it. I did not submit any of my own work in the contest: the whole idea was to allow the other artists to display their three best Valentines. This contest has some really first-rate work in it and it was my pleasure to host it.

I voted for several wonderful submissions but did nothing to influence the outcome. No prizes were awarded other than the standard FAA 1st, 2nd and 3rd place designations. Hopefully...BUYERS will be looking at contests to see art that is alike in theme.


Posted by: Jani Freimann on 01/23/2013 - 8:05 PM

When I google Fine Art America horse pictures, my group is at the top of the page. Do many people type that? Probably not. Some day, just typing' horse pictures, which is the most Googled phrase for horse images, my group will show up on the first page. Am I hanging everything on that? No. It's just one of many things I'm trying. Besides, I enjoy being an admin for a group and it's a great group of amazing horse painters.

I think the majority of group admins would concur that it's not all about them, but the subject they love to paint or photograph.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 01/23/2013 - 8:02 PM

Oh well, it's not the first time. I was once in an art show given by the Art Guild - and the winner is - the president of the art guild.


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 01/23/2013 - 8:00 PM

I can see it now, The all about me contest!


Posted by: JC Findley on 01/23/2013 - 7:57 PM

Maybe Yury, but look at the bigger picture. I agree that clients don't go to contests. (I doubt they go to groups either for that matter.)

BUT, other artists do, more views, more votes and more favs CAN help you with the internal search. Moving up in the search CAN get you seen. You must be sen to sell. Not to mention google. I have no idea how big brother google does it but when I put images in a contest, they usually get more google bot hits. More google bot hits = more vis on google. More vis on google can lead to sales.


Posted by: Jani Freimann on 01/23/2013 - 7:57 PM

People can tweet and like contests and they show up on Facebook. Although few, there are members here that collect art too. It's effortless marketing so why not? Every little bit helps, IMO.

Not marketing yourself and putting restrictions on yourself is more of an issue than the topic of this discussion.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 01/23/2013 - 7:56 PM

The whole point admins start groups, is normally because they have work that fits the bill

Featuring their own art, ALONG WITH OTHERS, on the main page is expected.

Same with contests. Why not enter....


Posted by: Yury Yanin on 01/23/2013 - 7:53 PM

Let us not deceive ourselves about exposure too. I doubt that would be buyers browse artwork in our contests. So if it is exposure..., then mostly to FAA members. That's why contests never encrease sales.
And Janine, you could have even a better chance in a juried contest, where you will be the only juror!


Posted by: Jani Freimann on 01/23/2013 - 7:41 PM

I've held a few contests and always submit my art. I get a few votes, but not enough to worry about it becoming a winner. If it looks as though it will end up as the top three winners, then I'd pull it from the contest. I usually tell people not to vote for it because it would be silly to win my own contest. I put my work in for an example and for exposure. To me, it's free marketing. Especially if it's open to public vote.

I also feature my own work on the home page of my group along with many of the members artwork.

There's nothing unethical about entering your own contest or featuring your own work.

I haven't yet hosted a juried contest. It never would have occurred to me to enter one of my own juried contest. That would make no sense at all.


Posted by: JC Findley on 01/23/2013 - 7:39 PM

Contests = exposure and really not much else.

The whole point of starting a contest would be getting exposure for your own images along with those of other artists. Since they really don't mean much beyond that I have NO problem whatsoever entering my own contest and if I win, so be it.

That said, every so often I create one JUST to see work I like. I like redheads, so made a redhead contest even without a single piece to enter myself.


Posted by: Yury Yanin on 01/23/2013 - 7:39 PM

You are very welcome!


Posted by: Janine Riley on 01/23/2013 - 7:37 PM

Thank you, Yuri Yanin ; )


Posted by: Yury Yanin on 01/23/2013 - 7:25 PM

Janine Riley:...I was thinking of running a contest..... just only my work submitted. I might have a pretty good chance then..
One more brilliant idea! We have quite a crop of brilliant ideas on our discussion board lately!
And why not, Janine? It is not prohibited (no one could imagine that as far and thus could not prohibit).Your winning image will earn at least one vote - mine. Because I like your artwork... and because your name sounds exactly as my family name... and because It could be funny... most contests are for fun anyway.


Posted by: Ginny Schmidt on 01/23/2013 - 6:55 PM

Wow, this is a first - actually finding a discussion on one search that addresses exactly what I wanted to ask about. So. I moderate three groups and, for the first group I started, I ran a contest, primarily to attract members to the group. Since it was MY group and MY contest, I thought it would be best NOT to submit my own art to the contest. The winners were only going to get featured on the group home page anyway, and I do not tend to feature my own art in my groups.

However, I had a slightly different but nonetheless pertinent question - and I realize before I ask that there is no rule against it and it's up to the person who starts the contest - BUT here's the thing: often, the image used to advertise the contest will be the administrator's own image, and it will be an entry to the contest as well. Now, I have no problem using my own image to advertise a contest, if it shows what type of thing the contest is looking to attract. However, I have always felt (and I have seen it on Redbubble, too) that the image advertising a contest should not be a contender, as everyone who enters and who probably will vote has already been subtly influenced in favor of that image.

If I see a contest that I am interested in entering, I will check to see if the administrator has entered images to the contest, or if the contest logo is also an entry. If either is the case, I prefer not to join.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 01/22/2013 - 4:51 PM

those contests are funny some times, especially when they host the contest, and it's a juried contest by the person who ran it, and well, look at that, they won first place. it's sad to say the least. but there is no prize. it doesn't boost you in the search as far as i know, and it's just for bragging rights.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 01/22/2013 - 4:14 PM

As has been said, it is up to the administrator of that contest and, if they have left the voting open to anyone, then it is okay for them to win

However, if it was a juried contest THEN I would be rather annoyed, personally


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Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/22/2013 - 4:01 PM



Posted by: Janine Riley on 01/22/2013 - 3:38 PM

I was thinking of running a contest..... just only my work submitted. I might have a pretty good chance then.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/22/2013 - 3:30 PM

I think it's messed up to enter my own work in a contest I'm administrating.


Posted by: Heather Applegate on 01/22/2013 - 3:28 PM

Its all for marketing purposes, so it would be a bit daft of the contest admin not to put their own stuff in the mix. No reason not to. How the contests are run are up to each admin, if you don't like how one is being run, just don't join into it, and maybe make up your own contests too.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/22/2013 - 3:27 PM

People running a contest shouldn't submit work...but some do it anyway because there is not a rule saying they can't.

Winning the contest? LOL...ya, I see that sometimes.

There are not a lot of ethics being applied to the contests, in multiple ways.

Some are honest.


Posted by: Lar Matre on 01/22/2013 - 3:23 PM

It would be suspicious at the very least.


This discussion is closed.