Wildlife Artist of the Year FAQs

DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year, in association with BBC Wildlife, is an internationally renowned wildlife art competition and exhibition, attracting entries from some of the most talented and passionate artists from around the world who come together to celebrate the beauty of the natural world. With seven unique categories, and a new award for first time entrants, DSWF encourages all artists, both amateur and professional, to take part in this global competition. For more information on DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022 and to enter, click here. Below are some of the competition’s most frequently asked questions. If you have any further queries, having reviewed all the available information below, please contact the DSWF team on way@davidshepherd.org.

Entering Wildlife Artist of the Year

Who can enter?

DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year, in association with BBC Wildlife, is open to all artists, both amateur and professional, aged 17 years and over on the closing date (31 March 2022), other than entries to the Human Impact category which is open to artists aged 16-22 years on the closing date.

How can I enter WAY 2022?

You may enter WAY by filling out the online form on the Enter Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022 page, from midday on 6th January, and uploading a digital copy of your piece. All entries, without exception, must be sent in a digital format with the following specifications:

  • High res (300dpi) jpegs.
  • Cropped to just show the art piece.
  • Ensure the file is a minimum of 2200 pixels and no larger than 6MB.
  • Please name the file as your surname, followed by the name of your piece (e.g. Smith – Lions in the Sun).
  • For 3D pieces, please include up to a maximum of 4 extra images per entry to show the different angles of your piece for the judges.  The extra images should not be uploaded on the entry form but be emailed direct to way@davidshepherd.org with clear labelling as artist name/artwork title.

You may also enter WAY using the postal form when the competition opens.

For the digital copy of your piece, you may use professional photographs, or take digital photographs of your entry yourself. You may also scan your entry directly from a photograph using a scanner. 

How important is the quality of the artwork photograph I send?

Please note that the image quality of your entry is extremely important. This is the only exposure to your artwork that the judges will have to base their decision on. If you have a poor representation, this will reduce your chances of being selected as a finalist.

Please ensure that the image of your piece is not blurred, affected by a glare, and is cropped correctly. All entries should be clear of any copyright information, so the identity of all participating artists remains anonymous to our judging panel.

How will I know that my entry has been successfully received?

Upon completion and submission of your entry form and associated payment, you will receive a Payment Confirmation email, as well as a Confirmation of Entry email. If you have not received the Confirmation of Entry email after several days, please check your junk folder and failing that please contact way@davidshepherd.org or call our office on 01483 272 323.

Can I make changes after submission?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept any changes to submitted pieces once an entry has been received. However, if you are aware that you have made an error on your entry form (e.g. listing the wrong dimensions), please email way@davidshepherd.org and we will look into this for you. 

When/how do I find out the results of the competition?

Every artist who has taken part in WAY 2022 will be advised after judging is completed via an email to whether or not they have been successful. Please note that this will be sent after the second round of judging, the dates of which will notified to you nearer the time. 

I am having issues submitting/completing my entry form?

Please be aware that we have experienced a few issues with artists trying to submit their entry using the Safari browser. Please try accessing the form via an alternate browser (e.g. Chrome) and try again. If the problem persists, you may either send a postal form or email our team at way@davidshepherd.org. We have also found that entries being sent in the last two weeks before the deadline can be held up by the sheer volume of traffic on the website. Please do try and submit your entries early to avoid this problem. Thank you for your patience. 

Is there an age requirement?

Please note that Wildlife Artist of the Year is open to artists aged 17 or over. Artists must have reached the age of 17 by the closing date for entries on the 31st March 2022. The Human Impact category is open to young artists, aged between 16 and 22 years on the closing date.

Can I enter if I don’t live in the United Kingdom?

Yes. Wildlife Artist of the Year is open to all international amateur and professional artists from across the world. All artists will receive equal consideration by our judges.

What is the maximum number of entries?

Please note that there is no maximum number of entries, however there is a maximum of 10 per online entry form. If you are planning to submit more than 10 entries, please submit 10 via the online system and contact us at way@davidshepherd.org and we will help with processing further entries at the correct discounted price.

Entry fee

How much does it cost to enter the competition?

  • The entry fee is £25 per an artwork for the first two entries, thereafter it is £15 per entry. (There is no limit on the number of entries).
  • Human Impact entrants pay £15 per entry. The Human Impact Category is only available to young artists between the ages of 16 to 22.

Important note: If you wish to qualify for the reduced entry fee of £15 after your second submission, please submit all the artworks you are entering at the same time.  For submitting more than 10 entries please see the note above.  

Is the entry fee refundable?

No, the entry fee is not refundable in normal circumstances. We may refund the amount to you if there is an error in the transaction that prevents you from submitting your piece or results in your submission being made more than once. If this is the case, please call our office on 01483 272 323 or email us at way@davidshepherd.org.

If I live in a country where it is not possible to make international payments can the entry fee be waived?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept entries without the entry fee.  DSWF is a small charity, with the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition being an incredibly important part of our fundraising efforts to support endangered species and the work of our ground-conservation partners across the world.  If you have problems regarding the methods of payment of the entry fee and would like advice, please do email the team at way@davidshepherd.org.

Can someone else pay for my entry?

Yes, this is possible and the payer details are required on the online entry form.  If payment is being made offline, it is vital that the person paying the entry fee makes it clear who the entrant is by providing entrant name and address.

Excluding the entry fee, are there any further costs involved in entering the competition?

No. There are no further costs involved in entering WAY 2022. If selected for exhibition please note that WAY 2022 is an on-line exhibition only and artists should not make arrangements to send their artwork to DSWF. All finalist pieces will be available for sale in the online gallery and in the event of a sale DSWF will liaise with the artist and the buyer regarding delivery, with costs being covered by the buyer unless otherwise agreed. See Terms and Conditions for full details.

Artwork

Which mediums are allowed?

Mediums can include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, mixed media, bronze, plaster, wire, collage and textiles with styles encompassing traditional, abstract, monochrome and many others – the choice is yours.

We also accept ‘original prints’ which are defined as a print either in black and white 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 must have been completed by hand by the artist. Examples are woodcuts, etchings and linocuts.

Unfortunately, photography or digital artworks are not accepted in this competition.

Can artwork that is not for sale be considered in the competition?

No. Please note that all submitted artwork must be the original piece and must be available for sale by DSWF for the duration of the online exhibition, which this year is in September 2022. 

Is there a timeframe for when the artwork must have been produced?

Please note that all submitted pieces must have been completed by the artist within the last five years. Artwork produced before the 31st March 2017 will not be considered.

Are there any restrictions on the species chosen for the final piece?

Please be aware that as Wildlife Artist of the Year competition is a wildlife art competition, all entries should be of wild animals. Any domestic animals (e.g. dog, cat, cow, sheep) will not be accepted and will not be considered as a finalist piece. For entries to the ‘Facing Extinction’ category, please check the species is listed as under threat on the IUCN’s Red List (www.iucnredlist.org).

Can I submit a piece that has been entered in a previous WAY?

Unfortunately, DSWF are unable to accept a piece that has been entered into a previous Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.

Is there a maximum size/weight restriction for entries?

No, there is no maximum size limit but please do bear in mind the logistics of delivery of extremely large pieces if your artwork is shortlisted.

Can collaboration work be accepted?

All pieces submitted need to be completed by a singular artist. No collaborations or group pieces may be accepted.

Judging

Will the judging be based on the actual artwork or the images that are sent?

Please note judging will only be based on the image submissions sent with the entries. Therefore it is extremely important that a high resolution, clear, cropped photograph is sent of your artwork.

Who is on the panel of judges?

The judging panel is made up of artists, conservationists, gallery owners, editors and interior designers. There will be a separate panel formed for the ‘Human Impact’ category, with winners announced alongside the other category winners.

What are the judges looking for?

The judges are not only looking for beautifully executed artworks but also imaginative and innovative interpretations of category titles. As well as an understanding of your subject, the judges are looking for originality and a genuine love and understanding of your medium.

You can of course get your inspiration from a photograph or other artwork but be sure to make this your own interpretation of that image. Straight copies are not only breaching copyright but may also be judged to be unimaginative. Please see the specific terms over the use of photographic images in the Terms and Conditions.

Prizes

How many prizes are awarded?

The judges will close an overall winner, an overall runner up and a winner of each category. In addition to this there is the Elizabeth Hosking prize for the best painting in watercolour, the David Shepherd Art of Survival Award, a Newcomers prize for first time entrants and The Artist Editor’s Choice Award. The BBC Wildlife People’s Choice award is voted for by the public during the exhibition period.

The judges also select a number of finalists as Highly Commended.

What are the prizes?

Prizes are detailed in the Terms and Conditions. During the competition period additional prizes may be added.

All cash prizes are fully sponsored.

Exhibition

When is the exhibition for WAY?

Once the judging has taken place, all the shortlisted artworks will be displayed and for sale online throughout September 2022. There are currently no plans for an in person exhibition in 2022 and so artworks will not need to be physically sent to an exhibition.   

Should I frame my entry if selected for exhibition?

No – please keep paintings unframed if possible as this will make delivery much easier.

What artist details will be shown in the online exhibition gallery?

All artists are asked to submit a biography and a description of each artwork submitted at entry stage. These will be used to describe shortlisted artworks for sale in the gallery. It is therefore advisable to provide up to date and engaging copy, within the word count specified.

Sales & Commissions

What is the commission structure on the artwork sold?

All artwork sold during the WAY exhibition will be split 50/50, with 50% going to the artist and 50% to DSWF.

Any artwork sold after the exhibition closes, or from commissions taken from the exhibition, will be split 70/30, with 70% of the sale price going to the artist and 30% going to DSWF.

When can I expect payment for artwork sold during the competition exhibition?

Upon receipt of payment from the buyer, and confirmation from the buyer that the artwork has been safely delivered and received in good condition, our Finance department will be alerted and will arrange transfer of your portion of the sale proceeds to your nominated bank account.

If the artwork does not sell during the exhibition, will it still be remain available for sale on your website?

If a piece does not sell during the exhibition, it will still be advertised on DSWF’s website, with the sale price, for a month after the end of the exhibition, unless an artist explicitly asks for it to be removed or marked as sold. If a sale is made in this time, the artist will be consulted, and the price will be split 70/30, with 70% of the final sale going to the artist and 30% going to DSWF.  

If my artwork is chosen for the exhibition do I have to sell the original?

The original piece of artwork for all shortlisted artists must be available to sell during the exhibition.  No substitute will be accepted.

If my artwork is chosen for the exhibition can I offer multiple editions for sale?

If your artwork is either an original print (see definition above) or a cast sculpture produced in a limited edition then we can offer multiple editions of your artwork for sale at the exhibition. This will be discussed with artists on an individual basis.