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NEW - Submission Guidelines (Read 12215 times)
Mindy
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NEW - Submission Guidelines
Jan 10th, 2012, 4:33pm
 
GCU welcomes artists of all types and disciplines;  fine art, non-traditional, professional, self-taught, etc.  However for submissions to be accepted they must follow the basics of quality and marketability as we’ve outlined in these Submission Guidelines.  The Submission Guidelines will give artists a more structured and clearer understanding of GCU’s standards.  These guidelines are a benchmark that along with other learnings and resources any artist can easily achieve.  The result will improve visibility and sales for the GCU artist community as a whole.  At the same time it will stretch artists’ abilities and creativity  - a profession or talent truly entrenched in a lifetime of learning.  
 
Please see the Submission Guidelines here on the GCU Wiki:
http://www.gcuwiki.com/sg.html
 
This is the extent of which we will reference/explain the guidelines and is a living document that GCU reserves the right to add to/change. Please be sure to reference often so that you have the most up-to-date information.
 
Important Note:  The card review team will now use these Submission Guidelines and note the below categorical reasons in return and decline card review notifications.
 
COMPOSITION
Subject Matter
Balance of Elements
Professionalism
Placement / Position
Framing / Alignment
Perspective
 
TYPOGRAPHY
Font Choice
Font Combination
Legibility
Effects
Font Color
Text Placement
 
IMAGE QUALITY
Sharpness / Clarity
Grain / Color Noise
Poor Scans
Reflections
Color / Contrast
Resolution
Excessive Effects
Lighting / Flash-eye
 
MARKETABILITY
Occasion Specific
Gender Specific
Age Specific
Photo Card Area
Creative Use Policy
No Thank You
Intellectual Property
 
Additionally, in the near future we will no longer auto-approve the first card for new artists joining GCU.  It will instead be reviewed with an even higher level of scrutiny to make sure submissions from day 1 abide by the Submission Guidelines and the artist has taken the time to familiarize themselves with GCU processes as we greatly differ from other POD sites.    
 
Thank you for your support and your patience as we continue to evolve.    Please let me know if you have any questions.
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« Last Edit: Oct 3rd, 2013, 10:16am by Mindy »  
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stacy_136134
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #1 - Jan 10th, 2012, 5:07pm
 
Mindy,
I haven't been a fan of all the new changes, but I have read through all of these notes and guidelines and I don't find anything in them to be taking an artist's individuality away -  though I say that thinking of the commercial art we produce here for sale to a mass market.  I am wondering though, and I say this with no intent of stirring pots, I can abide by all the guidelines and expectations and live with the declines as they come but in return for following all the rules is there anything you as administrators can do to give us a better review turn around time? Any assurance?  I could see a week to review but weeks and then a month plus leaves me feeling like maybe the review team also needs some guidelines and expectations to live by.  I would like to keep submitting here on GCU and I understand the intent to produce quality, but it becomes frustrating to the point of feeling defeated when there are unbalanced expectations.  Thoughts?
Stacy
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Donna_156115
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #2 - Jan 10th, 2012, 5:41pm
 
Hi Mindy,  
Thank you for all the New Guidelines for card submissions.. Smiley    I will do my very best to make a great sendable card... Roll Eyes and if any come back for me to  resubmit,  I will correct my card to what GCU wants.
I believe 2012 is going to be a GREAT Year for GCU SALES..
 
 Thank you, Cheesy
 
Donna Collins
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Donna_137698
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #3 - Jan 10th, 2012, 5:45pm
 
I'm going to give it a concerted effort once I get myself situated...
 
But, Mindy, I'd really like a reply to the question I asked on the other thread - my question being about using Artist Notes on the thread where the inconsistency issue was raised again.
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Janet_134086
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #4 - Jan 10th, 2012, 7:29pm
 
Thank you for the new guidelines Mindy.  
Easier to follow when we know exactly what GCU expects.  
I am working hard revamping my cards ... designs, fonts, inside messages, marketability ... even the artists notes, and I am already seeing more sales and feeling more confident in submitting cards.
The GCU Community Blog and Artists are a big help as well. (Thank You)
 
Hope everyone is having a great start to your the new year!
Janet Lee Smiley
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Margaret_137714
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #5 - Jan 11th, 2012, 7:51am
 
I could only hope this means that Comic Sans font would be banned for life, but I'm afraid that it might instead mean I will be required to use it (I know waaaaaay too many people who love it)!  Grin
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Margaret's Cooking, Baking, Culinary Greeting Cards:
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/Culinarygreetingcards
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #6 - Jan 11th, 2012, 11:16am
 
Quote from stacy_136134 on Jan 10th, 2012, 5:07pm:
Mindy,
I haven't been a fan of all the new changes, but I have read through all of these notes and guidelines and I don't find anything in them to be taking an artist's individuality away -  though I say that thinking of the commercial art we produce here for sale to a mass market.  I am wondering though, and I say this with no intent of stirring pots, I can abide by all the guidelines and expectations and live with the declines as they come but in return for following all the rules is there anything you as administrators can do to give us a better review turn around time? Any assurance?  I could see a week to review but weeks and then a month plus leaves me feeling like maybe the review team also needs some guidelines and expectations to live by.  I would like to keep submitting here on GCU and I understand the intent to produce quality, but it becomes frustrating to the point of feeling defeated when there are unbalanced expectations.  Thoughts?
Stacy

 
We trust that with these new guidelines in place as a reference for artists and reviewers alike the review process itself will become more streamlined.  There will be less guessing & miscommunications and the reviewers will not have to craft such detailed replies in returns and declines.  
 
Additionally keeping a more watchful eye on new artists joining our community earlier will help with the review process as the most time consuming reviews are typically those of new artists who have not taken the time to learn the ropes.
 
Lastly we will soon be announcing our Star Submitter status which means artists who consistently have near perfect submissions will be rewarded with an expedited review status.  This will not only help overall with review times but is a great incentive for artists to invest a great amount of care & attention to detail when creating & submitting cards.
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Mindy
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #7 - Jan 11th, 2012, 11:19am
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jan 10th, 2012, 5:45pm:
I'm going to give it a concerted effort once I get myself situated...

But, Mindy, I'd really like a reply to the question I asked on the other thread - my question being about using Artist Notes on the thread where the inconsistency issue was raised again.

 
Sorry Donna, failing at keeping all of my plates spinning ... pls direct me to the thread with your question.
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stacy_136134
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #8 - Jan 11th, 2012, 11:25am
 
Thanks Mindy, hopefully it will all become more stream lined.  I like the star status idea too.
Stacy
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Donna_137698
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #9 - Jan 11th, 2012, 2:07pm
 
Quote from Mindy on Jan 11th, 2012, 11:16am:
Lastly we will soon be announcing our Star Submitter status which means artists who consistently have near perfect submissions will be rewarded with an expedited review status.  This will not only help overall with review times but is a great incentive for artists to invest a great amount of care & attention to detail when creating & submitting cards.

 
Mindy, I always ask a question like I'm the fly in the ointment, but for those of us who are not perfect creating machines, this new thing won't impact any of us negatively despite attempts to be careful and do our best, will it?  Perhaps we can have a new Community Forum where we can upload images for critique prior to submitting?  I've always felt another pair of eyes is a blessing.
 
As for my other question/s, I just went back to the thread in question.  
 
To summarize for you here instead, if the environment of a particular image (photograph or drawing of 'real life') does not lend itself to perfect composition (for example, a house leaning over on a hilly landscape because that's what is really there) - if this is noted in the Artist Notes, would this help the reviewer determine if proper composition of the image is allowable and avoid decline?  Obviously, one cannot change that aspect and maybe would not wish to as that is of a real life environment.
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Doreen_137017
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #10 - Jan 11th, 2012, 3:09pm
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jan 11th, 2012, 2:07pm:
Quote from Mindy on Jan 11th, 2012, 11:16am:
Lastly we will soon be announcing our Star Submitter status which means artists who consistently have near perfect submissions will be rewarded with an expedited review status.  This will not only help overall with review times but is a great incentive for artists to invest a great amount of care & attention to detail when creating & submitting cards.


Mindy, I always ask a question like I'm the fly in the ointment, but for those of us who are not perfect creating machines, this new thing won't impact any of us negatively despite attempts to be careful and do our best, will it?  Perhaps we can have a new Community Forum where we can upload images for critique prior to submitting?  I've always felt another pair of eyes is a blessing.

As for my other question/s, I just went back to the thread in question.  

To summarize for you here instead, if the environment of a particular image (photograph or drawing of 'real life') does not lend itself to perfect composition (for example, a house leaning over on a hilly landscape because that's what is really there) - if this is noted in the Artist Notes, would this help the reviewer determine if proper composition of the image is allowable and avoid decline?  Obviously, one cannot change that aspect and maybe would not wish to as that is of a real life environment.  

 
Hi Donna,
 
I will anxiously await Mindy's thoughts on your interesting question as well; just wanted to add this for your thought process.
 
Experienced photographers learn that the situation you quoted for example will not be accepted in competitions or submitting to most places for uses other than editorial needs.  So, the experienced photographer, if they really want that photograph, look for the place where they can lay down, squat, or get into any position necessary in order to get the photograph so that the perspective is no longer an issue OR they find a way to exaggerate it to a point (maybe a fish-eye lens) where it becomes purely humorous and with the right words can be a marketable humor image.
 
Just thought I'd throw that out for those of us who have spent years crawling over, under and around things to get the 'best' composition of a not-so-photogenic subject.  Grin
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Donna_137698
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #11 - Jan 11th, 2012, 3:13pm
 
thank you, Doreen...  
 
see, there's that word - "experienced"...  
 
THAT is what I'm most afraid of at this point as far as being successful here especially under the new guidelines...
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Elizabeth_137795
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #12 - Jan 11th, 2012, 3:37pm
 
I totally agree with Doreen about "getting that photo" any way possible. I've had my share of people look at me funny, just for trying to snap it in an unusual way and ask why I take so many photos of the same thing. Well....you never know if one may be "the one".
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Donna_137698
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #13 - Jan 12th, 2012, 3:47am
 
Elizabeth, I do the same - thank goodness for digital... but in the essence of having the knowledge of what is accepted in professional circles versus what looks good to ME as just an avid photo bug and "wisher" of making greeting cards, this is where I am VERY nervous - and why I don't understand why some cards (not mine) are being declined.  I know Mindy has said this over and over again that one doesn't need to be professionally trained to be here - but lets face it - those of you with that background obviously have a big time advantage over those of us who don't have that background.  I do my best to study up and learn but it's a lot to absorb.  And then there are those situations where I am scratching my head because what if no matter what you do the image isn't going to be perfect because of the particular environment.  As cited on another thread, can Artist Notes be used to clarify that perhaps the image is taken a certain way and used as such on purpose?  Rolling hills with tilted buildings are commonplace in certain parts of the world... and images of them I would assume are completely accepted... and aren't photographs and drawings of real life supposed to capture what one sees in real life as it exists?  I've also read up on digital alteration/manipulation being frowned upon, especially with wildlife photography, because one IS changing what is seen and captured.  So although I have no such images of tilted buildings situated on rolling hills in my library since I haven't been able to travel, I do have those wildlife images that apparently are not acceptable either.  I had one declined because the reviewer didn't like the fact that my snapping turtle was sitting in a mucky pond and the reviewer considered it unattractive - yet my subject and verse fit each other perfectly and I certainly was not about to dive into the pond and wrestle with a mature adult snapping turtle to pull it ashore so I can place it into a nicer area to photo.  These sorts of things I get confused with.
 
As asked before, would it be possible to open the critique forum to include images that perhaps we have not submitted for review yet - especially for those of us still learning this art?  Or am I asking way too much and should just shut down my store?
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Doreen_137017
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Re: NEW - Submission Guidelines
Reply #14 - Jan 12th, 2012, 8:07am
 
Quote from Donna_137698 on Jan 12th, 2012, 3:47am:
Elizabeth, I do the same - thank goodness for digital... but in the essence of having the knowledge of what is accepted in professional circles versus what looks good to ME as just an avid photo bug and "wisher" of making greeting cards, this is where I am VERY nervous - and why I don't understand why some cards (not mine) are being declined.  I know Mindy has said this over and over again that one doesn't need to be professionally trained to be here - but lets face it - those of you with that background obviously have a big time advantage over those of us who don't have that background.  I do my best to study up and learn but it's a lot to absorb.  And then there are those situations where I am scratching my head because what if no matter what you do the image isn't going to be perfect because of the particular environment.  As cited on another thread, can Artist Notes be used to clarify that perhaps the image is taken a certain way and used as such on purpose?  Rolling hills with tilted buildings are commonplace in certain parts of the world... and images of them I would assume are completely accepted... and aren't photographs and drawings of real life supposed to capture what one sees in real life as it exists?  I've also read up on digital alteration/manipulation being frowned upon, especially with wildlife photography, because one IS changing what is seen and captured.  So although I have no such images of tilted buildings situated on rolling hills in my library since I haven't been able to travel, I do have those wildlife images that apparently are not acceptable either.  I had one declined because the reviewer didn't like the fact that my snapping turtle was sitting in a mucky pond and the reviewer considered it unattractive - yet my subject and verse fit each other perfectly and I certainly was not about to dive into the pond and wrestle with a mature adult snapping turtle to pull it ashore so I can place it into a nicer area to photo.  These sorts of things I get confused with.

As asked before, would it be possible to open the critique forum to include images that perhaps we have not submitted for review yet - especially for those of us still learning this art?  Or am I asking way too much and should just shut down my store?

 
Donna, I applaud your efforts to acquire knowledge about photography - in doing so don't confuse all the different aspects of photography 'guidelines' because you may go nuts  Grin  In other words you mention
 
" I've also read up on digital alteration/manipulation being frowned upon, especially with wildlife photography, because one IS changing what is seen and captured."   This DOES NOT apply to anything other than those photographs which are used to document the animal and/or environment for books or for stock images.  None of these images, unless simply amazing, would ever be acceptable for greeting cards without some cleanup.  
 
At some point we have to just jump in to something new and take our bumps & bruises along the way in order to truly develop our skills.  There is only so much information you can collect and attempt to process without just going for it and learning by applying.  I did this with Photography.  After my 4 years of classes, lessons, assignments and book learning, I couldn't take a good photograph if my life depended on it.  I had so much knowledge and formulas in my head that the 'art of seeing' was gone.  It took me over 2 years to get back to where my natural instincts took over and I didn't have to wade through the information in my head every time I was composing a shot.   Grin
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