Guest Post-Greg Newbold-To SI or Not to SI


We have a great guest post from Greg Newbold, an award winning Illustrator who has been featured by Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators, and Spectrum.

This post is timed perfectly as the announcement has been made that Expose’ is open for contest submissions. We get questions all the time in regards to whether or not to enter contest and what impact winning could have on our careers. Is the entry cost worth it? Greg runs through the Pros and Cons.

The first part of his post is featured here with the remaining portion featured on his own blog!  Be sure to let Greg know your thoughts.


This question was posed to me after showcasing images of my work being featured in the Society of Illustrators Gallery Show:

Do you recommend sending your work to these shows? Is it worth the expense?

The short answer is yes and yes. Juried shows such as those sponsored by the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Spectrum and 3×3 are long running showcases of the best art the illustration industry has to offer. They are tough to get into because they are very competitive and only what was deemed the best gets in, so acceptance really means something. From the beginning of my career, I have entered these types of shows and I can credit early acceptance in CA and the Society shows for jump starting my career. It seems that every time I get in one of these shows, I get at least one project that I would not have otherwise landed. People look to these annuals every year to see what is good of at least what the hot trends are. Lets take a look at the pros and cons of entering these types of juried shows.


  1. Exposure. Your work gets seen by thousands of people who may otherwise not have noticed your work. Art buyers, creative directors and designers across the country wait every year for these annuals. If you get in, your work will be seen, and in a way that is impossible to get by any other method.
  2. Credibility. Your work is grouped with the best art produced in that particular year. Your piece will be seen adjacent to some of the most respected artists in the industry, therefore, by association, YOU are one of the most respected artists in the industry. It doesn’t matter if you have been a professional for 2 years or 20, your work was good enough to get in and that carries with it weight and respect.
  3. Validation. Let’s be honest, No matter that most of us would do art even if we never won anything, it feels good when others recognize your work for the quality it displays. When we win awards such as these, we can’t help but feel vindicated and that in turn motivates us to push even further to improve even more.
  4. Cheap Advertising. This is a Catch 22 since if you don’t get your work in, you can feel like you wasted your money. But, if you DO get in, these annuals offer the cheapest exposure you can get. Full page spreads in a publication such as Communication Arts can cost thousands of dollars if you bought it yourself, but acceptance in an annual show can give you the same coverage for pennies on the dollar.

The cons and remaining portions of the post are located here.

Greg is also a contributor to the Folio Academy. (See banner over there on the right.) He has a video courses available called Conquer your acrylic demons. Follow the link to the right and check out the preview!

Conquer Your Acrylic Demons



Leave a Reply