Judges on Distractions

I’m sharing some recurring judges comments from Regional Scholastic Art Awards adjudication. If you missed the last post and want a brief description of the judging process, you can read it here.

Traces by Tricia Basco, American Visions Award Nominee
Traces by Tricia Basco, American Visions Award Nominee

This one is about little distractions. It’s not uncommon to hear a judge comment with something like:

This is a really strong work, but [that one little thing] really bothers me.

The variable is that one little thing. I wish I could tell you what all the one-little-things are so you could make sure to avoid them — or make sure your students avoid them, but the number of possibilities is too great. Here are just a few examples to give you an idea:

  • One poorly drawn hand/foot/etc.
  • A distracting blotch of color that is, perhaps, unharmonious
  • An artist signature that is too prominent
  • In a portfolio, one artwork (of eight) that is not as strong or doesn’t belong and throws the whole portfolio into question

It may be impossible to know what all of the one-little-things are that bother judges, but knowing that one little thing can distract them from seeing the rest as fully successful is a good step in the right direction.

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2 thoughts on “Judges on Distractions”

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