Revised February 7, 2006
Conquering the Arts and
By Baronne Belphoebe de
1. Background: The Three Elements of a
Competition are Documentation (D), Execution (E) and Presentation (P). I call
it “The DEP Factor.” We will cover these elements today, as well as another very
important element, which is follow-up and making your work known to others.
2. Documentation: I cannot stress
enough the value of research and documentation. There are many websites
explaining various methods on how to document an entry. Documentation does not
need to be rocket science, but it needs to be done neatly and clearly. It also
has to be consistent with your entry. Here are some pointers:
Always conduct your research before
making your artifact.
Do not try to justify your artifact after
Original research will be better received than
only Internet sources or photocopied pages
Proofread your paper. If possible, have a
friend proofread it as well.
Explain where your artifact is coming from and
what the differences are between it and the period one
Explain how you made it
Be clear and concise
Invest in a binder and some sheet protectors
3. Execution: A competitive A&S entry
does not impress people with documentation alone. Even if you have done the
most thorough research and put together the most impressive paper, you still
need to create your artifact, sing your song, etc. Here are some pointers to
help improve the quality of your entry:
Whenever possible, use period materials
If a period material is unavailable or too
expensive, use the material that most resembles the original and explain why
you are using it
Whenever possible, use period construction
Pay attention to detail. For instance, a red
chemise may look very nice with your dress but, before you even consider it,
find out if there are any indications that red chemises were used in that
time-period and region
Pay attention to the quality of your
workmanship. Sloppy or hurried work can ruin an otherwise impressive entry.
There will always be other competitions. Do not rush to complete an entry if
it will result in shoddy work
Practice, practice, practice… Make several
mock-ups before committing to the real thing.
4. Presentation: Remember, it is the
small details that will make your work get noticed. Here are some pointers:
Always carry a piece of cloth to cover the
space where your artifact will be placed
Place cards and a pen for comments
Make sure that your documentation is neat – no
coffee stains or anything like that
Printed documentation looks better than
Invest in a nice binder and sheet protectors
(see item 2 above)
Include pictures of the artifact that inspired
yours. Color pictures if possible.
Try placing your documentation or at least a
picture of the period artifact on a book holder to make it more easily
5. Suggested Presentation Kit
Your entry (duh!)
Tablecloth or piece of fabric
Book holder (you can pick one up cheap at
Basket or box to put your entry on
Cards and a pen for people to leave comments
Any other small props that won’t detract from
the focus of your presentation.
If you receive comments, read them carefully
and see if there is any information that is useful for future reference
If you receive comments that you do not like
or do not agree with, contact the judge or the person who left you the
comment. He or she may know something you don’t know and there is only one
way to find out.
Even if you receive no comments, make an
effort to contact the judges if possible
If you don’t know who the judges were, contact
the person who was in charge of the competition. They should have that
Always be polite when contacting your judges.
Should you get a rude judge, take the issue to
an A&S Officer for resolution or to the Principal of the Order of the Pearl
(if you are in Atlantia) or
the Laurel if he or she belongs to any of those Orders.
Constructive criticism does not constitute
rudeness. Comments like “Don’t quit your day job” do.
7. Telling the World About Your Work
Take plenty of pictures of your entry
If you don’t have a camera, get a friend to
take the pictures. You can also purchase a disposable camera. They even sell
digital disposables nowadays.
The Internet is your friend. Upload the
pictures to your webpage if you have one
If you don’t have a webpage, get an account
with any of the free online photo albums such as Fotki, Yahoo Pictures,
Shutterfly, Community Webshots,
PhotoBucket, etc. These sites
require no special web skills such as knowledge of HTML,etc
You can also get an account with any of the
online journals and start a diary of your project. Some allow you to upload
pictures as well without much fuss.
Finally, remember to have fun. Arts and
Sciences competitions and displays are about teaching and learning, but
ultimately it is all about the fun.