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Art is probably something that has always stayed in our lives in one way or the other, and has either helped us overcome hard times, or accompanied us in a joyful expression of ourselves. We all love art and being involved in it. Some may like to dance and sing, while others may like to paint or write. Whatever it is, art is inseparable from a person whose very nature is to be creative.

Today, we would be talking about art. More specifically, the visual expression of art, which may involve painting, drawing or sketching. Try to imagine a world, where there are no paintings and no portraits. Well, it would not only be full of boredom, but would also lack a major part of our learning: visual creative expression. We all at some point in our school life, have been asked to draw something, or to paint and why not? There is nothing more exciting than filling a blank canvas with colours and creating something on it.

This is not it, art has even taken an integral part of our working lives as well. From presentations to home decor and exhibitions, we all are in some way involved. For some it may be a hobby, while for others it may be a profession. No matter which one it is for you, we would be sharing with you a list of art contests that you can take part in and not only hone your skills but also share your work with the world and win exciting prizes. And apart from the art contests, we also have a helpful tip for you, that can not only help you ace these art competitions in today’s internet age but also lead to building a decent audience online!

Let’s first have a look at few benefits of being part of an art contest:

  • Creative Growth:

The biggest advantage of participating in art contests is indeed a nurtured creative growth. As you strive to create your best work, in return, you open up to new perspectives and ideas that you may have never given a thought to before. This helps in making you a better artist.

  • Exposure:

Another benefit is exposure as an artist. Let’s admit it, nothing comes easy and if everything was easy, almost everyone would have been successful. But one of the many reasons why only a few artists are able to make it big or establish a significant amount of living out of their artwork, is lack of exposure. When you participate in an art competition, you get a chance to build a network and establish a connection with the organisers or the co-participants. This is extremely helpful in establishing yourself as an artist and in finding more opportunities in future.

  • Confidence:

Lastly, it goes without saying, being part of art contests helps you gain confidence. The confidence to overcome your fear of being judged as average and of dealing with failures/rejections. No matter how good you may be, you will not always win. Sometimes you win, and other times you try your best to win. What matters the most is consistency and the desire to keep going, which as an essential mindset only comes when you participate in more and more competitions.

We will share with you two kinds of art competitions, the first would be for young students and kids and the other one would be for generally everyone willing to be part of an art contest.

Following are some teenage art contests for students including some for kids as well:

  1. Celebrating Art

This website organises art contests for kids and also an amazing student art contest.

It helps in building a robust foundation of learning art among children and identifying talents.

  • Who can register: Any kid or student in Kindergarten to 12th grade can enter this art contest, either by themselves or with help of a teacher.
  • The top pieces can get published and the top ten students of each grade category get $25 as reward with a free book.
  1. Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

A prestigious and well reputed organisation that holds art contests yearly for students. You can create an account with them and after paying a nominal entry fee (that can be waived, if you submit an application for it), submit your work in any of the 25+ categories that best associate with your work.

  • Who can register: Students in the U.S., Canada or students in American schools around the world
  • Based on originality and skill, the top works can get good scholarships and awards upto $10,000.

3. Doodle for Google

an art contest website

Image taken from Doodle for Google

This is one of the biggest digital art contests that are widely open for kids and school students to showcase their creativity and receive worthy rewards even including publishing of the doodle on the Google website.

  • Who can register: Any kid or student from Kindergarten to 12th grade in the U.S.
  • The prizes include scholarships upto $ 30,000 and several other awards.
  1. Never Such Innocence Art Contest

Another from one of the greatest art contests out there. The competition is based on a yearly theme that varies but largely revolves around conflict and its impact.

  • Who can register: Anyone between age 9-18 can enter this contest and participate in not only art but also poetry, speech and song categories.
  • As for the award for art contest, it is a beautiful art pack.

5. JQA International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest:

JQA (stands for Japan Quality Assurance Organisation) along with UNICEF organises this global contest yearly, specifically for children to sensitise them towards the environment and build and spread an eco-friendly mindset.

  • Who can register: Children of age 7-15, from any country
  • There are no entry fees and the top winners, apart from being published, also receive special awards.


  1. The Lumen Prize

This is a large scale global art contest on the theme of technology. There is a nominal fee for entry. The entry for this, much like few art contests is over by the month of June – July.

  • Who can enter: Anyone from around the world can enter this contest
  • The prizes are upto $11,500 with special incentives for students as well and a long series of awards apart from the cash prize.
  1. Prisma Art Prize

an art contest website

Image taken from Prisma Art Prize

The best thing about art contests like these is that they are open to anyone, with any style or technique and do not even have an age barrier. The Prisma Art Prize even allows an opportunity to be part of a group exhibition in Rome. Some special pieces are also displayed in their online galleries.

  • Who can enter: Anyone from any country (No restriction on age or style/technique)
  • Artists can submit their work anytime around the year within the four cycles of call for entries and can grab a cash prize of € 500 along with special sponsored prizes as well.
  1. Ruth Borchard Collection: Self Portrait Prize

After registration to the portal, the works can be submitted till around April for this art contest.

  • Who can register: Anyone from any country can submit their artwork which should be a self portrait of any variation after payment of a nominal entry fee.
  • The winner receives a £10,000 Ruth Borchard Collection prize. Some shortlisted works also get the chance to showcase their work at Coventry Cathedral.
  1. Sunny Art Centre: Sunny Art Prize

Sponsored by Art Council England, this contest provides the opportunity to artists from across the globe to provide them a platform to raise their talent and present their best to the world. The contest has a long period for submitting entries (nearly 7-9 months) and artists of the best three works are declared as the winners.

  • Who can register: Anyone from any country can register and submit their work of any theme
  • The prizes are up to £ 6,000, while the top 30 artists get a precious opportunity to present their work at the Sunny Art Centre located in London and some also get a chance to exhibit their works in Beijing and Shanghai as well.

Now that we have discussed some of the best art contests for you to join, we will now share the helpful tip as promised that can assist you in probably standing out of the crowd and also building an audience online.

#The tip is to Make your artist portfolio or website

Yes. Making an artist portfolio or a website to showcase your art (and maybe even sell it!) can definitely prove to be useful in the art contests. Here is why:

Consider this example: Imagine if you are given the role of a judge in an art contest and you receive entries from an artist A and an artist B who have done fairly good work and are at par with each other. Artist A has a strong online presence, has displayed his several pieces in a virtual art gallery and even sells his paintings and informs people about various aspects of painting through a blog. While artist B has no online presence, and doesn’t really show any interest in virtually sharing his works. Whom are you most likely to interact with and probably choose for an exhibition?

Probably A. And even if an art contest is done via the votes of the audience, would fall in the favour of the artist A. Considering the virtual world we all have been living in, apart from the real world, it is important to have a strong presence there as well, especially as an artist. Most of the contests and galleries have shifted online in the recent time, because of the internet in the past decade and also due to the paradigm shift in work culture amid COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the best time to be there on the internet and showcase your skills as well as you can. It will not only help your career, but even help you win such contests or at least have a stronger impression to win, while making money on the side and having a decent audience following your work already.

Don’t worry, we are not going to leave you right here. While building a portfolio and website is our advice to you, we would also like to help you do it, so that you can have your own work platform in the virtual space, without having to advertise in real or spend thousands of dollars on infrastructure.

We at Strikingly, are committed to help and guide you through the entire process of building an art portfolio or website while offering you all the services you may need. Following are few websites/portfolios of our users:

  1. Anne Sigismund

portfolio website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

  1. Alex Ruiz

art website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

  1. Sim Mau

an art portfolio website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

  1. TJ Maher

painting portfolio website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Building a website is not easy, but we have prepared several video and text guides to assist you and make it easier.

Strikingly website templates

Image taken from Strikingly

You can simply sign up and get going. We have several templates for you. Choose our free service, if you’re starting out and do not wish to spend much in the beginning and if you’d like to scale further and expand with the help of our premium services, we’re always there for you. Moreover, we also have an exciting affiliate program for you, with which you can make some extra money as well. We also have a reseller program, which can help you create awesome landing pages and online stores if you purchase websites in bulk. With the program, we provide you with easier collaboration, client management, discounts, and of course, 24/7 live chat support for any help or assistance. Start your journey with Strikingly today and be part of our amazing community!