Have I ever mentioned how much I adore working with the folks at Stampington? On a whim, I decided to purchase my first stampington title about 5 years ago. It was Somerset Life. About 5 pages in I was seriously hooked. Eventually I began to consider sending in some of my own art work. It took me a while but I finally figured out how to work with Somerset Magazines. Here are a few tips.
How to Work with Somerset Magazines
If you have dreamed of having your original artwork published but don't know how exactly to go about it, I would first recommend that you do your research. Purchase several issues of the same title and look through it several times. Get a sense of what type of projects the editor may be looking for. Magazines like Sew Somerset are both instructional as well as inspirational. Somerset Life on the other hand is more inspirational in nature and contains relatively little instruction. So you wouldn't want to send a project that relies on step by step instructions to Somerset Life as much. You would want to send artwork that reflects the artful lifestyle feel of the magazine.
Looking at the examples above, it is probably clear to you that Somerset magazines pride themselves on high-quality photography. For this reason, I highly recommend sending in physical samples in lieu of emailing or mailing photography of the artwork. Only through actually handling the artwork can the editors get an idea of how an item will photograph. Details are very important in artwork for Somerset and the details can often get lost when sending photographs.
Specific instructions on sending in artwork for consideration can be found here. Follow these instructions carefully. It is especially important to label items. You put a lot of effort into making art, not to mention costs associated with purchasing materials, packing and shipping. The last thing you want to happen is for your artwork to get lost in the array of unlabeled items. It was only though a face to face meeting with the editor of Greencraft did I learn this the hard way. I sent in my fan blade wallart and was surprised when the editor did not contact me with an article assignment. When I asked about it she stated that she loved the project but didn't know how to contact as the artwork wasn't labeled. The project went forward in the next issue and I never forgot to label items again.
Another tip for working with Somerset magazines involves the art of patience. I have referred several atrists to Somerset and waiting is the hardest part for them. Although editors work from an editorial calendar, sometime features get moved around or other things that are completely out of your control occur. The editors warn you that it can takes months for them to make a decision regarding whether or not artwork is accepted. For this reason it is important to be patient. No news is generally good news. If you produce atrwork that uses expensive materials and you can't afford to wait for the editors to return it, you may want to send in a smaller sample that represents you as an artist or use alternative materials.
When your artwork is accepted, the editor will contact you via email most often with an article assignment and a deadline. Often, they will ask you to write an "inspiration based article including basic instructions for technique used and list of materials." When drafting your article, try to think of what inspired you to create your project. My fan blade idea came from a trip to a friends house to help her hang new ceiling fans. When she asked me to throw away the old ones, I decided to try and repurpose them into wall art. Be ready to tell your background story.
Most magazine editors are keenly aware of current trends and strive to feature them. They are mostly looking for new ways of doing "old" things. This is especially true of Somerset Magazines. Additionally, highly detailed items or three to four samples of the same technique using different colors or materials lend themselves well to several photographs. Consider this when sending in artwork.
I hope you are encouraged by the prospect of sending in your artwork for publication. If you have additional questions or would like to comment, I would love to hear from you. Until then,
Live Life Creatively,