Reflecting on the Global Talent Search so far…

Several great things are happening with our Global Talent Search and I want to share them with you, before we reveal our Finalists later today.

Lots of artists – the 50 semifinalists – are receiving amazing exposure to top industry leaders – our panel of judges – who often MAKE careers. Our judging panel includes people like Ingrid Liss of Demdaco, manufacturers of Kelly Rae Roberts’ gorgeous licensed products, to Marie Perkins, author of the highly regarded Print and Pattern blog. Beth Kempton, my producer, and I have brought these judges together to view the work of the 50 semi finalists and to thoughtfully select the top 5 finalists, looking for quality, originality, and marketability. In many cases, they even viewed the websites of the artists. It’s probably safe to say that many of these artists may never have gotten that kind of exposure without this competition, and we are thrilled for them.

I am reminded of the American Illustration Annual, in the 1980’s, was then the brand-new, revolutionary juried book, and with its team of incredible judges, brought together and provided exposure to so many brilliant knowns and unknowns. (I am grateful that it helped to give ME a start).

Competitions are a powerful tool for showcasing top and new talent – just look at like the Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys.

It’s pretty awesome.

It’s also hard that not everyone can win, but everyone knows that when they enter, and I just hope that the experience, the exposure, the excitement and the focus are all beneficial for everyone who has taken part.

As for my agency, Lilla Rogers Studio, we get a brand-new fabulous artist to represent and our industry is uplifted and energized by exposure to much great talent. And hopefully a lot more gifted artists get the exposure and work that they deserve. That has to be a good thing.

Ps. A personal benefit is that I was fortunate to work closely with the brilliant Margo Tantau, VP of Creative at Midwest CBK, to create the final challenge and I must say, it’s pretty awesome! Margo gets her dibs on the winner (my next artist!) and together they get to create a branded line of stunning products for her company. Win-win-win.

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