BIC Art Master Africa Competition 2021 ~ An Artist thoughts & Opinion

BIC Art Master Africa

Participating in the upcoming BIC Art Master Africa Competition, might be an opportunity for upcoming ballpoint pen artist to get exposure and a form of publicity if they get selected. The probability of getting selected is not easy; it is not easy to be the most preferred in the whole continent. I tried to figure out the criterial of what it takes to be selected based on the past winners and it is a little intriguing.

Right now I’m having a conflict in my mind. I am trying to make up my mind if I would make a spontaneous rough sketch or follow the pattern I noticed with the past winners (that is make a detail PHOTOREALISTIC drawing).

Based on my observation of the previous winners, I have reasons to believe that anything short of photorealism would be ignored (and partly because it has a wider appeal to the public who might not be experts in art). To the masses (or the public), a photorealistic drawing made with a pen is amazing and magical due to the permanent nature of the pen. They assume it takes a real master to draw a perfect picture without errors and they are partly right in their assumption. It is very difficult to draw a perfect picture with a pen, but like all skills, the ability is learnable and can be developed to the point of mindlessness where there are no creative insight or interpretation of the image. At that stage, the unfortunate artist becomes a human photocopy machine (manually reproducing what a camera has already produced, now technically copied down to the smallest details).

I feel a photorealistic artwork(as an entry to the Art Master Africa Competition) might be the difference between just being a participant, or being a contender (actually getting some spotlight).

On the other hand, I love making spontaneous scribble drawing and I can do it all day long. It is both fun and easy (may be that is what passion is). However, these spontaneous works might not be as amazing to regular people in comparison to a draftsman who submitted a complex and detail photorealism drawing with a ballpoint pen.

So I came to the conclusion that I would make a detailed photorealistic drawing while scribbling a few things in-between the breaks of drawing. However the deadline to the end of submission is about a week away (31st May 2021).

In the past I have changed my style/themes to fit into one competition or the other. I always never get selected but those from other countries often send me an auto responds email thanking me for my entry, and one in 10 would send a second email telling me I wasn’t selected because my work wasn’t a fit (unaware that I made that particular artwork for the competition and it doesn’t really represent the majority of my work).

Especially in Nigeria, I have tried some competition where an artist who sponsor the show was pre-destined to win so they could add that accomplishment to their resume. The whole show is for one person to boost their reputation but they open it up for the general public to apply. It is funny. They often feel so bad or worried of being discovered or may be just unorganised and don’t care that they wouldn’t even send auto generated emails thanking you for the submission. Stage two of such competition and you can add to your CV that “you are an award winning artist”. What award? No one cares to know.

I believe BIC is an international company and not into that type of con. So I might spend the week attempting a large photorealism drawing because one of the prerequisites for applying for the completion is to have a large artwork (larger than what I usually make).