20 Fun and Free Online Art Competitions

20 Fun and Free Online Art Competitions

20 Fun + Free Online Art Competitions

You can find many art competitions being run and promoted online these days.

Instagram, for example, is a great platform for artists to find fun contests because it is intended specifically for visual media.

Online art competitions are a great way to generate ideas if you are experiencing a creative block, expand your portfolio and step out of your comfort zone.

They can also make a great marketing platform by increasing your visibility and connecting you with other artists and maybe even art directors and publicists.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or to increase your self-confidence and gain experience, you may want to consider entering a few of these competitions.

Even if you’re a little nervous about sharing your work, I have found that the art community on Instagram is an incredibly supportive, friendly place to be!

Caution: Please research the company running the competition and make sure that the benefits you receive are worth your time and energy!

Also, if a competition isn’t a good fit for your art style you may want to give it a miss. Remember, exposure doesn’t pay the bills and your time is valuable!

I would even recommend that you do not pay to enter a competition. There are plenty of contests out there that offer great rewards and do not require a fee!

Take a look at these contest rules from a recent Spanx art competition. They state that you have to hand over all your rights to your own artwork. This means you will not get compensation or royalties on any sales! In addition, they require artists to submit Adobe Illustrator files which means that they can print your art on absolutely anything with no payment to anyone.

If you are looking to learn more about pricing your art and licensing agreements, I highly recommend this class by Peggy Dean.

This course about pricing your art includes an art licensing agreement template that you can edit for your own needs.

20 Fun + Free Online Art Competitions

(This content may contain affiliate links where I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

1. Spoonflower

Spoonflower

Spoonflower is an on-demand, digital printing company that prints custom fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap. They hold weekly design challenges for pattern designers.

These challenges are great as they encourage creativity by inviting artists to submit designs around fun themes and vote on favorites to win prizes. Winners are announced every Thursday. It’s great exposure for pattern designers!

Spoonflower’s weekly themes can really help you get over a creative block by providing you with new and fresh ideas!

Don’t forget to use Spoonflower hashtags like #Spoonflowerdesignchallenge to increase your visibility and connect with other artists!

2. Ohh Deer

Ohh Deer

Ohh Deer is a greetings card, stationery and gift company that offers quirky, artistic and fun illustrated products. They also run Papergang, a monthly stationery subscription box and Artful, an arts and crafts subscription box. You can find out more @ohhdeer @thepapergang and @artfulbox.

They love supporting artists and frequently hold competitions for artists from all around the world of any age group!

Some examples of competitions include designs for their subscription boxes, cards and pillows. You can keep up with them on Instagram or check out their blog to find out about the next competition.

3. Blogtacular

Blogtacular is an organization where creative entrepreneurs, bloggers and influencers come together to meet, share and inspire.

Their large scale conference is on hold for now but they promise that the next one will be raucous, life affirming and bigger than before.

Their goody bag design competition looked like a lot of fun and hopefully they will be running similar competitions in the future!

4. Make it in Design

Make it in Design

Make it in Design is a collaboration between renowned surface pattern designer Rachael Taylor and successful entrepreneur Beth Kempton and offers online courses and workshops for surface pattern designers.

Each year, Make it in Design offers creatives all over the world with the incredible opportunity to win a design scholarship worth over £1,200! You can find out more about the competition here. 

They also have other competitions, for example, they recently launched the “We Are in This Together” competition inviting artists to illustrate or represent typographically a quote from a book. The grand prize was £1000 worth of courses. Connect with them on Instagram or check out their Blog to find out about upcoming contests. 

5. Slow Down Studio

Slow Down Art Contest

Slow Down Studio is a modern lifestyle brand that celebrates individuality and artistry. They collaborate with artists from around the world to design blankets, rugs, towels, and other home goods.

They hold an art competition on Instagram every year in July and select 12 winners who all receive cash prizes and their very own blankets! You will maintain ownership of your artwork. It’s a great way for emerging artists to get their work out to the world.

20 Fun + Free Online Art Competitions

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20 Fun and Free Online Art Competitions

20 Fun + Free Online Art Competitions

6. Make Art That Sells

Make Art That Sells is an international collaboration between top art agency Lilla Rogers Studio and award-winning online education provider Do What You Love. They offer advanced online courses for artists to support their professional portfolio development and business skills.

They run creative challenges and competitions to win places in their bootcamp and other courses.

7. Wacom

Wacom

Wacom provides interactive pen displays, pen tablets, and styluses for artists and designers.

You can find out about their contests by following their Instagram account. Examples of past contests include #wacomperfectworkspace and their #smallbutpowerful competition where artists were asked to create and share their favorite designs with them on Instagram.

Prizes usually include a Wacom product.

8. Procreate

Procreate holds an art competition every year for artists over the age of 13 and winners receive cash prizes. Each year has a different theme.

9. Fy!

Fy! offers fabulous home and living products from 2,000 independent brands and artists.

They have a woven throw competition where they pick 10 winners who will receive store credit and sales commission. They will also advertise and promote your brand and product around the web.

10. Fine Acts

Fine Acts

Fine Acts is a nonprofit for socially engaged creative solutions. They recently launched The Spring of Hope global art campaign and opened it up to submissions from creatives everywhere.

11. Logo Designers Club

Logo Designers Club

Logo Designers Club partners with Design Hill and has some fun art competitions that could help overcome a creative block.

For example, their Mental Health Design Challenge and the Floral Art Design Challenge.

Prizes include small cash prizes and gift cards. You can use #printshopchallenge for your entries. Keep up to date with their latest challenges on Instagram

12. Minted

Minted

Minted design challenges offer cash prizes as well as commission. They have numerous design challenges for stationery, art and home goods.

Every design or artwork for sale on Minted can trace its roots to the Minted Design Challenge. This is where creative visions are submitted, votes cast, and winners brought to life as products for sale in the Minted marketplace.

13. Gorman Clothing

Gorman clothing recently held a design competition. As well as being a competition, their online exhibition was a platform for artists and designers to showcase their work and talent, and connect with other artists and businesses alike. You can still use the hashtag #collabwithgorman and who knows, they may hold another competition in the future!

14. Stationery Island

Stationary Island

Stationery Island’s art competition is open to art in any medium, Watercolor, Calligraphy, Doodles, Gouache, Pencil, Digital, etc. You can follow them on Instagram to keep up to date with contests.

15. Lucy & Yak

Lucy and Yak

Lucy and Yak are inviting artists to draw their dream dungarees. They pick 3 favorites each Friday and the winners receive a £50 L&Y voucher!

They encourage you to create as many as you like, just use the hashtag #dreamyaks on your posts or stories on the day!

16. Doodle for Google

Doodle for Google

One for the kids! Doodle for Google is an annual contest open to students in grades K-12. Students are invited to create their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on Google.com, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages for their schools.

17. Golden Coil

Golden Coil sell planners and notebooks and have held a design contest annually since they launched their company.

The contest typically runs for two weeks and ANYONE can submit a self-designed planner cover to the contest for the chance to be one of their featured designers for the year. You can keep up to date with their contests on their Instagram account.

18. Wraptious

Wraptious

Wraptious offer the opportunity to turn your work  into a beautiful giftware range.

Artists are invited to submit their work through their website. There is no artwork theme or preferred medium. It is up to you what you would like to submit!

It is completely free to enter and open to all artists globally. You own the copyright always, earn commission, and it’s the only time when they take on new artists.

19. Proworks Fitness

Proworks

Proworks Fitness Design A Bottle competition looks like fun!

The winner will receive a cash prize and the ability to earn commission on their design. The winning design will be featured in a number of campaigns, including social media advertising and website promotion and your name will be featured on these materials for added exposure.

You will also retain the ownership of your design.

20. The Everyday Mother

The Everyday Mother

The Everyday Mother sells books, printables and accessories and holds a yearly competition for all designers, artists, photographers, and other creatives to be featured as one of their Limited Edition artists and win prize money. You can find out more on their website here and follow along on their Instagram too!

There are many more small art challenges and DTIYS (draw this in your style) challenges that you can find on Instagram to spark your creativity.

Hopefully with all these challenges you can say goodbye to creative block!

Let me know how you get on!

If you would like me to include a contest in this post feel free to send me a quick email.

If you’re looking to learn more about art licensing agencies, check out my blog post here:

27 Art Licensing Agencies For Passive Income

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20 Fun + Free Online Art Competitions

20 Fun and Free Online Art Competitions
20 Fun and Free Online Art Competitions
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