Sunday, July 15, 2012

An update on the "Blown Covers" blog

Dear Friends and Followers - 
After Monday’s announcement that this blog would wind down at the end of July, the Blowncover’s inbox was flooded with letters of support and encouragement. A clever and talented community of artists and commenters has sprung up around  this project and I can’t bear to let it go. So. You’ve convinced me! The blog will live on. But we’ll have to make some changes.
We will be transitioning from weekly contests to monthly contests. I’d love to continue just as we’re doing now, but the pace isn’t sustainable. This week, we got twice as many submissions as usual! (And they’re all great - way to make our lives difficult.)  I’d like to make it so artists can look at each other’s submissions over the course of a month (a public or semi-public flickr gallery perhaps?), vote and comment on them, then Françoise and I will post our favorites here on the tumblr. I’m going to take the weekend to think about the best way to do this (your suggestions are very welcome: I’ll be back on Monday, with a new plan - and later next week, with the results of the cats and dogs contest. 
Thank you for all your encouragement,

Thank you to everyone who wrote in this weekend to help us figure out the new monthly Blown Covers contest format. Your advice was invaluable. Here’s what you told us:
  1. Keep the deadline short. Artists need the pressure of a deadline to force them to the drafting table. So - you only have a week! But, you’ll also have the weekend. We’re not monsters.
  2. Keep the submissions private. Though many artists submit for reasons other than a shot at the real New Yorker cover, part of what makes this contest exciting for us is that Francoise can and does pull images from the general pool to hold for consideration at the magazine. This is why we ask artists to keep their submissions confidential until we post them. We’d floated the idea of asking artists to upload submissions to a public gallery, but those public images would then be ineligible as covers. So! We’ll continue to collect submissions through the contest submissions page as we have been doing. 
  3. Don’t open the contest to voting. Many of you told us that you value having one person’s opinions and sensibility to work for. So, we’ll continue to judge the contest ourselves, and we’ll continue to eagerly read your comments on everything we post. 
  4. Keep up the Artist spotlights. Ok! As you’ll see on the new calendar below, we’ve devoted one week to our favorite non-blown covers images. I’ll also be posting a few extra things on non-designated days when I have time. 
  5. Create a newsletter. With a monthly schedule, it may be more difficult for artists and our followers to keep track of new contest themes and deadlines. We’ll be setting up a newsletter that you can subscribe to, through which we’ll alert you when we announce new themes. 
So here’s our plan! Rather than post all runners-up and winners on one day, we’ll post one image a day over the course of three weeks. I know the suspense will be killer, but we want to keep you coming back to see us. Francoise and I are very excited to have found a way to continue this contest and this community. We hope to finish out a year of themes, which leaves us with 7 more months together. Here is a handy dandy calendar: 
Thank you all for your enthusiasm, talent and support. We’ll post the winners of last week’s contest later this week and then we’ll begin on the new format by announcing a new contest theme this Friday. 

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