7 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Your Images Rejected

You’ve set up your Artist Rising gallery, and you’ve gone through the initial steps to upload your artwork. A day later, you get an e-mail that says your artwork was rejected. “What?!” you holler to your computer, “Why?”

Here are the top 7 reasons why our Artist Services reps will send you the “Sorry, try again” note:

1. Oops, Your Wall is Showing
We often receive photographs of artwork that include stuff in the background, such as the wall behind the painting, the frame or matte around the artwork, fingertips in front of the lens, and even curtains, rugs, windows and fish tanks!

L: 3 strikes, you’re out: Wall, frame and curtain in photo, photographed at an angle with uneven lighting.
R: Matte and easel showing, and photographed at an angle

Remember, what you see in the photo is what the art buyer will get as a finished art print.

If you submit a photo of your framed artwork, then that’s what will be printed – the photo of your frame around your artwork. If that print is then framed, then your artwork is presented with TWO frames – one printed and one actual frame. Yikes!

With a photo editing program (such as Photoshop Elements, Paint or Microsoft Picture Manager) crop off any extra wall or household elements in the background BEFORE submitting your artwork file to us. Crop up to the edge of your artwork for best results.

2. Artsy Angles, Crooked Shots and Upside-Down Art
If your photograph of your artwork is at an angle or is cropped off-center or crooked, it will be rejected. Shoot your artwork straight on, at eye level – not from the side, not from below, not from above.

L: Artwork photographed at an angle distorts your artwork and just looks odd.
R: Artwork submitted sideways will be printed and framed sideways. What you send is what we’ll print.

Also, submit artwork right side up, exactly as it should be displayed on a wall – Not on their side or upside-down. Our printers and framers will assume that the bottom of the image as it’s seen on screen is the bottom of the image. Sending us your images right side up is especially crucial for abstract artwork.

Again, keep in mind the “what you see is what you’ll print” motto. If your image files are cropped crooked, they will print crooked. If you send us an upside down image, it’ll be printed and framed upside down. It’s as simple as that.

3. Stay Focused
Blurry, off-focus photographs of artwork are almost always rejected.

4. Beware the Dark Side
Dimly-lit, low-contrast photographs of artwork are also almost always given the thumbs-down.

5. Blinded by the Glare
Photographs of paintings and artwork that have an obvious flash glare are generally sent back to whence they came.

REMEMBER: Artist Rising will not edit, crop, clean up or touch up any photographs or image files we receive. It’s up to you to submit photographs of your work that are correctly photographed, presented right-side up and cropped straight and to the edges of your artwork.

Rejection Reasons 1 through 5 could all be prevented by having a professional or experienced photographer photograph your artwork.

6. T.M.I. – Too Much Information
Just as in polite cocktail conversation, T.M.I. can turn people off or make you look unprofessional. What do we mean by T.M.I.? Three examples include:

  • Date stamps
  • If you’re using your personal digital camera to shoot your artwork, turn off the ‘date stamp’ feature. Art buyers don’t want to know when you took the photo, much less want “05/07/2007” in glowing yellow letters at the bottom of their print.

L: Date stamps are fine for family photos, but a no-no on your photos of your artwork.
R: Words just get in the way: Don’t submit images with your name, URL, poetry or motivational slogans
  • Motivational or Inspirational Slogans
  • As contemporary artwork, your images should speak for themselves. With very few exceptions, we will reject images that include slogans, captions or poetry.

  • Your Name and URL
  • It’s our policy to reject images that include your name and personal website URL, especially if the text is quite large in relation to the image.

7. You Crossed the Line
Contemporary art often pushes buttons and goes beyond the boundaries of polite society – and that’s a good thing.

However, Artist Rising and Sistino are public Web sites that are accessible to viewers of all ages. Therefore, we have a content policy that we ask all artists to abide by when they submit artwork to display on our site.

To be displayed on Artist Rising and Sistino, your artwork must not:

  • Infringe others’ copyright or intellectual property rights
  • Promote illegal acts, violence or drug use
  • Endorse hate or social intolerance
  • Depict violence and/or extreme blood and gore
  • Include pornographic content

Refer to our content policy for more detailed information about the dos, don’ts, and guidelines for submitting work to Artist Rising.

Need more info or clarification about our content policy? Drop us a line at support@artistrising.com.

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