Friday, February 09, 2018

Final Call for Entries - Wildlife Artist of the Year 2018

The Final Call for Entries
This year's  Wildlife Artist of the Year 2018 exhibition will be the first year without David Shepherd (1931-2017) at the opening - but I'm absolutely sure it will be a really great exhibition - in his memory.

However you have just a few days left to get your digital entry in to this prestigious open competition - and have a chance of winning the £10,000 top prize for Wildlife Artist of the Year. 

This year for the first time there is NO LIMIT on the number of entries you can submit.

The closing time/date for digital entries is midnight on Monday 12th February 2018.

You're probably too late for postal entries as the closing time for them is 5pm on 12th February 2018.

The exhibition is at the Mall Galleries as usual however the timing has changed. It's one between 2nd - 6th May 2018. (Note this is much earlier than usual) with the PV on the 1st May.

Final Call for Entries

Well the first thing to say is your wildlife art better be good because this competition regularly receives top notch wildlife art from around the world!

Indeed simply getting selected for this exhibition is regarded as a big honour by many wildlife artists. 

DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year is a prestigious annual wildlife art competition. Founded by David Shepherd over 10 years ago, the competition attracts artists from all over the world and showcases some of the finest and most exciting wildlife art whilst at the same time raising vital awareness and funds for the endangered wildlife that DSWF works so hard to protect. Every entry, and proceeds from all sales, supports our work to that fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species, and engage local communities in Africa and Asia.


The first prize is definitely worth winning and the category prizes are also very nice!
  • Overall Winner £10,000 cash prize & title ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year 2018’ 
  • Overall Runner-Up £1,000 cash prize. 
  • Remaining Category Winners £500 each.

So who can enter, what can you submit and what do you have to do?

Eligible Artists

Artists aged 17 years old and over - living anywhere in the world - are eligible to enter.

The competition is open to both amateur and professional artists and no distinction is made between them in terms of judging or prizes.

Eligible Art

The main conditions are as follows.
  • THERE IS NO MAXIMUM NUMBER OF ENTRIES - This is NEW for 2018. Previously there has been a maximum limit of five entries.
  • All media are eligible (EXCEPT photography). For example, the competition is very happy to receive artwork in media that includes oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, mixed media, bronze, plaster, wire, collage with styles encompassing traditional, abstract, monochrome, original prints* and many others .
* An original print is a print either in black or in colour, drawn from one or several plates, conceived and executed entirely by hand by the same artist, regardless of the technique employed, with the exclusion of any and all mechanical, digital or photomechanical processes. Every stage has been completed by hand by the artist. 
  • Entries must be completed by the entrant themselves
    • it must be their own original work. 
    • If a reference photo has been used, then the permission of the photographer is required (i.e. copyright issues are NOT allowed!)
  • Work must be completed in the last five years - hence artwork completed before 12th February 2013 CANNOT be entered.

Please note that in their Helpful Hints document the organisers state the following about the sort of artwork they are looking for and will rate highly.
The judges are looking for not only beautifully executed artworks but also imaginative interpretation, moving away from the purely photographic to interesting compositions with great characterisation, showing imagination, originality and genuine creativity. As well as showing an understanding of the subject, they are looking for a genuine love of paint. 
You can of course get your inspiration from a photograph or drawing, but be sure to make it your own interpretation of that image. Straight copies are not only breaching copyright but are judged to be unimaginative and dull. 

How to enter

The details of entry page on the website provides three documents (as pdf files)


Entries must be submitted to a category. The categories are:
  • Animal Behaviour: Showing a real understanding of animal behaviour, a sense of character, maybe something the judges may not have seen before.
  • Into the Blue: Illustrate the wonderful world of water, be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or stream. 
  • Urban Wildlife: Entries can be in an urban style or depict the city life of animals and plants. Judges will be looking for both originality in the habitat as well as the contrast between wild and urban life. Vanishing Fast: Our vanishing world – it can be any species officially listed as endangered or threatened on the IUCN Red List – or any landscape that is at risk. 
  • Wings: The extraordinary variety of winged wildlife – birds and insects, in flight or at rest.
  • Earth’s Wild Beauty (including animals and landscapes in which they inhabit): The choice is yours! 
All categories are open to UK and international wildlife, landscapes, flora and fauna.
For all categories the judges are looking for....
not only beautifully executed original artworks but also imaginative interpretation, moving away from the purely photographic to compositions with great characterisation, showing imagination, originality and genuine creativity.

Method and cost of entry

Entries can be my post or online - however
  • all images submitted as an entry must be digital. Please NOTE that no allowance is made by the Judges for poor digital images or bad quality photographs. It's up to you to submit quality images.
  • all entries must reach the Foundation by 12th February 2018.
Your artwork should be submitted as a JPEG digital image via the digital entry form or should be burned to a CD. They require:
  • High resolution @300 dpi
  • minimum pixels of 2,200 pixels on the SMALLEST side
  • File size not exceeding 6MB.
  • all files must have an easily identifiable name eg you should use your surname followed by title of art artwork
Responsibilities of the artists
  • Note that delivery, collection, shipping costs and insurance are the responsibility of the artist.

What does it cost to enter

Entry costs vary depending on the status of the artist
  • normal entry fee: £25 
  • concessionary rate: £10 for DSWF members, 17-25 year olds and the over 60s.

How should I price my work?

  • All entries MUST be for sale. Do NOT enter anything you don't want sold as this exhibition aims to sell (so don't sell anything you have entered before the exhibition). 
  • All prices need to be realistic i.e. PRICED FOR SALE. This includes making your sale price appropriate for the exhibition and marketplace. This is not a vanity exhibition! Note that this competition is a bit different. Sale price will be negotiated with the artist but the final decision will be made by DSWF. That effectively means that if you enter your work and then put 
    • an outrageously high price on it so it won't sell - then DSWF can vary that so it will sell!
    • a low price on it - maybe because you don't know London prices - that DSWF can raise it so that it's consistent with prices asked for other work of the same quality in the exhibition.


There are three commission rates:
  • Sales proceeds for works exhibited at the exhibition are to be split 50/50 for sales made for the duration of the exhibition and for one month after. 
  • After one month, any sales made as a result of the continued promotion of the piece by DSWF will be split 70% artist and 30% DSWF
  • Sale proceeds resulting from commissions taken at the exhibition are to be split 70% artist and 30% DSWF. 

More about Wildlife Artist of the Year in previous years


  1. Thank you for alerting me to this competition! I have read through the details, but am unclear whether they accept linocut prints. It mentions an "original print" but not in the "mediums allowed" so I am a little confused and wondered whether you knew? Thank you.

  2. Lino cut prints are fine. There's a huge number of ways of making ORIGINAL prints (i.e. NOT reproduction prints).
    They're not all going to get a listing.

  3. Thank you very much for your help!


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