Saturday, January 18, 2014

David Shepherd's Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014 - deadline extended to 5th February

The deadline for entries for David Shepherd's Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014 (First prize £10,000)
  • WAS Monday 20th January
  • BUT is now midnight on Wednesday 5th February 2014
Below you can find the information about this very popular art competition for wildlife artists.

There are two new categories for 2014:
  • Wildlife in Monochrome - particularly suitable for those who work in fine art prints, graphite or charcoal
  • Silver Artist - for the Over 60s - which I think is a great idea!
The Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries, London Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th June 2014, 10am to 5pm (closes 4pm on final day).

The Private View will be held on 29th May 6-9pm. The Private View for this has an excellent attendance with lots of enthusiastic private collectors of wildlife art and lots of sales.  If you're a collector and want an invite I suggest you get in touch with the Foundation.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year website page

Call for Entries Summary

Full details are available on the Wildlife Artist of the Year - Terms & Conditions page on the DS website.  They also have a Wildlife Artist of the Year - Frequently asked questions page


The Overall Winner wins £10,000 cash prize and title 'David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014'. In addition:
  • Overall Runner-Up £1,000 cash prize. 
  • Remaining Category Winners £500 each. 

Deadlines for entries

The (extended) closing date is 5 February 2014. No entries will be considered after the closing date.

Who can submit

This is an international open competition. It regularly attracts entries from overseas. Entry is open to eligible submissions from:
  • both amateur and professional artists. No distinction is made in the judging for the relative status of the artist. 
  • artists aged 17 years or over (ie 17 years of age by the closing date – 21st Jan 2014).

What you can submit

  • work completed within the last five years by the entrant
  • your own original work
(My Comment and interpretation: i.e. any artist making an EXACT copy of the work of another professional artist or photographer risks having their work rejected.i.e. derivative work cannot achieve copyright status)
The Artist must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of all artwork entered, or if work is copied from a photograph or other image that is not the Artist’s own, The Artist must have permission in writing from the copyright owner to use his or her work. Source material and proof of permission to use must be made available on request by the judges.
  • multiple entries - up to 5
  • any medium except photography, film and digital
  • unsold artwork only (ie the purpose of the exhibition is to raise funds for conservation and there is no space for artwork which cannot generate funds)

You CANNOT submit:
  • Work completed before 21st January 2009 is ineligible
  • Work which is not original to the artist
  • photographs, video or digital images - they will all be disqualified
  • work which has been sold - either before entry or before the exhibition.  The whole purpose of the exhibition is to raise fund to help protect endangered wildlife

Categories for entries

All entries must correspond to one of the seven categories:
  • Endangered Wildlife - any wild animal or plant that is threatened or endangered nationally or internationally 
  • Wild Life - any wild animals including birds and plants in Britain or anywhere around the world including wild landscapes 
  • Wildlife in 3D - sculpture in any medium 
  • Wildlife in Action- any wild animal jumping, fighting, flying or any other interesting behaviour 

  • Wildlife in Monochrome – any wild animal or landscape drawn in tones of any one colour

  • Young & Wild - open to 17-25 year olds covering all six categories 

  • Silver Artist – open to over 60 year olds covering all six categories

  • What it costs to submit an entry

    Other important terms and conditions

    with all the details of the price and how to buy - they are very serious about selling your art!)

  • Copyright: By entering WAY you agree to grant DSWF 

    • a non-exclusive license to reproduce the artwork for any purpose in connection with the competition including publicity, marketing, fundraising and exhibitions.
    • the right to publish a limited edition print of the work by agreement with the artist up until the end of 2014. This does not apply to sculpture.

    Digital Entry

    • digital entry is recommended
      • online: recommended image size 2560 x 1920 pixels; file size no larger than 6MB plus a clearly identifiable file name + credit/debit card to pay fee
      • by post: jpeg image on CD plus completed and signed entry form plus cheque
    • No allowance will be made for poor digital images or bad quality photographs.  Which I take to mean if they cannot see an excellent image of your work it's a waste of time submitting it no matter how good the work might be in reality.
    • Delivery, collection, shipping costs and insurance is the responsibility of the artist.

    Selected artists

    Those chosen to exhibit their work will be selected by an independent panel of judges, to include artists and conservationists chosen by the competition organisers.

    Previous blog posts about this competition and exhibition

    Wildlife Art - Resources for Artists

    For more about Wildlife Art - see my website Wildlife and Natural History Art - Resources for Artists. This is a compendium of links to information and resources for artists who portray natural history, nature and wildlife.


    1. Thank you for highlighting the change of submission deadline, they did this last year as well, which begins to beg the question as to whether it's planned all along..

      I'd love to hear more of your views on "derivative work" from photos, it's such a grey area and I think many artists, stock photo sites and photographers are very unclear about the legalities surrounding using another artists/photographers work as a source of inspiration.

    2. My view is quite simple.

      There is a world of difference between using a reference photo produced by somebody else as a source of inspiration - and using it to produce a very realistic copy (often without the photographer's permission).

      The second is
      1) not original - hence fails to meet one of the major criteria of most open exhibitions / competitions
      2) fails to achieve copyright in its own right because there is no copyright in derivative work .

      What is wrong with asking a photographer for permission, getting a licence and paying a fee and then producing something which is not trying to copy somebody else's work?

      I don't get artists who just want to act like photocopiers.

      Buy a camera! If it's your own photograph there isn't a problem!

      Also the law is quite clear - ignorance is not a defence. If you want to enter art competitions and/or sell art then you need to be very clear about how copyright works and whether or not you're infringing it.

      Otherwise you might one day be faced with learning a very expensive lesson.


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