JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

Entering the month of warm pavements and beams of sunlight may be exciting for those without paintbrushes or design pads, but for artists, the only vitamin we will get to soak up is Vitamin ECW, aka Endless Computer Work.

Summer is either the time to review last semester’s work and rebuild your portfolio or submit your art to various agencies for freelance work and internships. 

Between all the Gen Zers and millennials vying for positions, it is exhausting trying to find work and it can be incredibly competitive. We are often left wondering how we will ever gain ingredients to our design career pie. 

I realized quickly that sometimes the only option you have is to bake the pie from scratch, usually without a recipe.

There are plenty of other ways to get your work out in the open. Building your public portfolio is the first step in landing one of those sought positions, so getting your work published online should be your top priority. 

As many artists know, Instagram which is one of the biggest platforms right now to connect with like-minded individuals and receive great feedback. 

However, finding publications or pages willing to feature your work can take some digging. This is especially true since most ask for a publication fee — if you are in the position where spending any new coin is not an option it can be discouraging. 

Don’t sigh just yet, content is on your side! Since most platforms rely on a constant uploading schedule there are a few gems amidst the crowd that need artists to keep their flow going. 

Not to mention that because we are in the digital decade, you are open to the international market. Here are a few sites that are aesthetically pleasing for some great screen grabs and just what you need for exposure:

IGNANT

IGNANT is a gorgeous minimalist platform for design, architecture, photography, art, and more. 

Its published works deal mainly with “contemporary aesthetics from a different perspective.” To submit, all you need to do is send an email and attach images with a width of 1800 pixels or more, along with a description. 

Ballpit

Ballpit is a contemporary online art news magazine with over 52,000 followers on Instagram. It looks for consistent, high-quality work, and a positive attitude. If this sounds like you, fill out Ballpit’s small form for either a story feature or an Instagram post! 

Colossal 

Colossal puts the world of art culture at your fingertips. It is a contemporary art platform that accepts submissions across different disciplines: if you make anything from embroidery, animation, or painting, you are eligible to submit your work! Keep your descriptions brief in your email and attach a few relevant works that are at least 1,200 pixels wide. You can send a link to your portfolio; just make sure that it’s easy to get around to the right spot.

Communication Arts

Communication Arts is the perfect place for just about any artist, offering many opportunities to gain exposure. Submissions are open for its exhibit of new and innovative projects in graphic design, advertising, and outstanding websites. It also has online competitions, from which you can receive a personalized award if you win. How does that sound? There is a massive FAQ on the submissions page for each category if you are looking for extra information.

Empty Easel

Empty Easel is a one-stop-shop for tutorials and a platform to showcase unknown, emerging, and established artists every week. There is no definition of what it looks for in terms of art — the canvas is your oyster.

EatSleepDraw 

EatSleepDraw is a very popular Tumblr-based online art gallery that posts 100 per cent original content, submitted by contributors across the globe. It receives about 1,000 submissions every week, which means that approved artwork might take between 20 and 30 days to be posted, so pause on that refresh button for one second. EatSleepDraw also has been featured in The New York Times, so who knows who will see your art!

Women Who Draw

Calling all ladies! Women Who Draw is an open directory for professional women and gender nonconforming illustrators and artists. Their mission is to increase the visibility of female illustrators and those of minority groups. Make sure to submit a portrait of a woman that best describes your work!

Remember to always keep your eye out for artist calls such as the Art Map, and galleries that are looking for a variety of skills. Gallery 1313 has a space that features innovative work by emerging artists featured in the Window Box Gallery at 1313 Queen Street West. 

There is no cost involved in submitting your work. It’s a great opportunity to feature your art at the receptions taking place there, and expose it to new audiences. Bragging rights are included!

Of course, as with anything, getting your name out there takes time and patience, but the timer to take out your design pie will go off at any minute, with all the trials and errors of making it that much sweeter.

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