Some advice from the Artist Liaison

We are racing towards the January 15 end date for the Call for Art, and I anticipate seeing a lot of submissions in the next twelve days, particularly in those last few. I am excited for everything that is to come, and so pleased that you all continue to send the festival your art every year, helping us craft a wonderfully unique gallery experience.

Today I’m popping in to offer you some advice and what I hope are helpful guidelines to make your submission process a little less fretful. Deadlines are fantastic motivators, but they’re also stressful, and I’d like to ease some of that stress if I can. So I would like to present a non-exhaustive list of things to keep in mind and adhere to before the Call for Art closes. Remember, even if you’ve already submitted, you can go back and adjust your submission if you feel the need. Nothing is set in stone until 11:00 p.m. PST on January 15.

On professional vs legal names

Everyone here at the festival understands that we live in a society where for one reason or another, you may need to use a pseudonym for your erotic art. Not a problem, and we are happy to assist. That said, please double check your submission and make sure that if you did give us a professional name, that name is the only one you use for the rest of the application. In, say, the biography for example.

We do not edit for content, only for style, so if you put your legal name in your biography we will print that and put it on the wall next to your art. Now, if during the editing process I have time to review all the biographies and see that this occurred, I will do my best to reach out to you. However, by that point I don’t always have the time, so it’s best just to be diligent.

On biographies

And speaking of biographies – biographies have a 50 character minimum and a 350 character maximum. They can contain any pertinent information you feel the public needs to know about you as an artist. Past shows, your artist statement, how long you’ve been creating, whatever you feel most motivated to share. That said, you have finite space, so be sure to just focus on the important bits.

Many artists already have a standard biography that they use for shows, but in my experience a lot of our artists are new or haven’t shown before, and I know the biography can be daunting. It might be tempting to just copy and paste any biography you have, whether from social media or a dating site, and I would encourage you to make sure the bio has something to do with your art. Here are some examples, with their character length included so you get a feel for it:

David Peterman is a Seattle photographer who can talk anyone out of their clothes. (82 characters)

Drea Talley is a bi femme freelance writer and chaotic good rogue. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in The SEAF Literary Anthology, AHF Magazine, Crabfat Magazine, and Manastash. She likes tea, tiny cakes, and snark. (226 characters)

Jim Duvall began his career as an erotic photographer in the early days of the World Wide Web when he started with his former partner. He has provided content for many online endeavors, including His art has been shown at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and other art festivals in North America. (323 characters)

On photographing your art

Now, for those of you submitting photography, this really isn’t much of an issue for you – you can just upload your file. Though please be mindful of watermarks – the jury is not supposed to know who you are, if you watermark your images your pieces will be removed. For the rest of you lovely artists, make sure to take your pictures in good light, take multiple shots so that you can pick the best one, and upload as high resolution an image as possible. Also, when photographing your art, we suggest you do not include the frame in the photograph. If you do, the frame will be considered part of your piece, and judged with the rest of your work.

During the submission process, you will have the opportunity to upload up to three images of your art for the jury to consider. Now, if your art is a 2D piece, three images may be unnecessary. One image of your painting or photograph or illustration, etc, is sufficient. However, if say you used textiles in your 2D piece or you have a lot of fine details and that’s not obvious in the larger image, maybe you could include a close up of your piece for us to see those fine details. That said, the additional image uploads will be most useful for 3D pieces, such as sculptures, which can be seen from multiple angles.

Finally, please remember that each submission is for ONE piece of art. Do not upload three different pieces in one submission.

On dimensions

During the jury processes, the jurors will continue to pick pieces of art until we run out of wall space. On any given year we end up with 215-250 pieces of art, depending on how many we can fit. That said, being accurate with the size of your art is very important.

If you say in your application that the piece is 16×20, the jury accepts it, and it arrives and I see that it is 20×24, there is a chance that we will not be able to hang your piece because it exceeds the space we had available for it. Now, I appreciate that you might not get your piece framed until you know whether or not it is accepted – framing can be an expensive process. However, you can probably go online and get an idea of how large a frame and matting you wish to use, and add that to your piece’s dimensions. If you end up being off by an inch, maybe two, no one will be mad at you.

On naming your art

Please do it. Please do not submit five pieces all called “Untitled.” Number them, give them dates, anything. Make it as simple or complex as you like, but please title your pieces. When a patron comes up to the docent station, saying they would like to buy Untitled, but can’t remember the name of the artist and 10 artists gave us pieces called Untitled, it makes selling your art a bit of a challenge. If you contact me and say there’s a problem with your piece, but all your pieces are called Untitled, it makes it harder for me to track your piece down and see what the issue is.


And with that, I think I’ve babbled at you for long enough. I look forward to all of your submissions, and I am here if you have any questions. Start by checking our info page over here. If that doesn’t help, you can always contact us via either email ([email protected]) or you can call us at (206) 229-2185.