What's Next?

What's Next?

by Kathleen Smith

What is the next step I can take to get exposure for my artwork, you might ask? You have put in the hours of practicing your colored pencil skills, read instructional books, completed tutorials, taken workshops, and you feel proud of the artwork that you’re producing. I would like to give you a few suggestions that I am familiar with and have taken part in.

There are many venues and opportunities for you to be able get exposure for your artwork. Most of you reading this are probably a member of a social media art group on Facebook. The groups are a great way to socialize with other artists and share posts of your artwork. On the first of every month, Color Magazine has the Artist Showcase Video for members belonging to The Creative Color Place, The Coloured Pencil Pushers, Colored Pencil Artist League, UCKPS Members Group, and Colored Pencil Corner. If you are an intermediate, advanced or expert level artist, please submit your artwork. This is a wonderful video of artwork by your fellow online artists and you may get selected for your artwork to be published in the Color Magazine. If you don’t enter you’ll never know if you would be selected. The very first goal that I set for myself on my artistic journey was to have my artwork be included in the video and maybe one day to have my artwork published in the magazine. I would make sure to have a piece that I could enter for the Showcase video every month. I have had a few of my pieces published in The Pencil Box section.

“If you don’t enter you’ll never know if you would be selected.”

This piece, titled Aisey, is exhibited at Oak Hammocks in Gainesville, Florida.

One of the most exciting laurels that I have had to date,was being on the cover of Color Magazine and having a step by step published. I was very proud to have that opportunity afforded to me. . There are also two book publications CP Treasures and Hidden Treasures, that are great opportunities to have your artwork published. Be confident and enter your artwork.

There are opportunities to have your art published in other art books and publications as well. Artist Network has several mediums that they have opportunities for. Just four months after I started my colored pencil journey I entered my artwork for a chance to be published in The Strokes of Genius vol. 9 book, The Best of Drawing. I knew it was a long shot to be included in such a highly regarded art book, but I was willing to pay the entry fee. When my artwork was selected, you can imagine how utterly surprised and elated I was. This is an annual publication, you can check it out online.

“After all of your practicing your skills, be confident in yourself and your artwork. Take the time to look online for the opportunities that are available to you...”

State and County Fairs are also a fun venue, usually with a small entry fee. Most of the fairs have an Art Show and entrants can win ribbons and/or cash. The first time I decided to enter a local county fair, a few years ago, I entered a piece in every category they had, animals, still life etc. After five blue ribbons and a best in show, I had a real boost in confidence that one needs from time to time. I entered five different pieces in another county fair in a town close by. Five more blue ribbons and another Best in show, WOW!!! You’ll never forget your first successes. Check out your county and neighboring counties to get the dates of the fairs and if they have an Art Show. Most counties will have online sites.

Photo taken at the CPSA convention in Chicago.

There are incredible Art Associations that you can apply for membership, generally for a very reasonable annual fee. I belong to The Colored Pencil Society of America. They have an awesome annual convention and Art Show and an online show. They provide wonderful opportunities for colored pencil artists. CPSA has district chapter groups across the country available for membership as well. The chapters have group meetings, activities and usually an annual Art Exhibition. Again easy to check into online to see if this interests you.

Look into the local Galleries in your area. Many have memberships to join, with workshops, activities, exhibitions and opportunities to sell your artwork. I belong to a gallery where they have monthly themed exhibitions. So check out your local galleries.

Received an award for Innocence of Perception at GFAA in Gainesville, FL.

Many cities and towns have local art leagues and associations. This is also a great way to get to know local artists, participate in activities, workshops and exhibitions and opportunities to sell your artwork. Some art leagues have agreements with local businesses, where they will supply the business with beautiful artwork to be displayed in their establishment and changed out with new artwork monthly. The sales information for the pictures would be displayed also for interested buyers. Some businesses I have seen providing display locations for art, are restaurants, Dr. Offices and Town Halls.

These are a few ideas you may find useful to get your artwork into the public arena. After all of your practicing your skills, be confident in yourself and your artwork. Take the time to look online for the opportunities that are available to you, take notice when you drive by your local gallery. When you have your artwork hanging in an exhibition, don’t forget to post it on social media, so we can all be proud of you too. Happy penciling.


Kathi picked up her first colored pencil in 2015. Her colored pencil artwork has been published in several publications. She has won numerous local awards for her artistry. Claiming not to have developed a personal style for craft yet as she is too busy experimenting with different techniques and supports to use with her pencils. Kathi is a member of The Colored Pencil Society of America and Gainesville Fine Art Association.

See more at: https://www.facebook.com/KathiLecasSmith

Comments (5)

I really enjoyed reading this blog by Kathi Smith! Lots of great info!

Tammy Jo Hoffert - Jan 30, 2020

I loved the blog very proud of you.❤️

Kelly White - Jan 30, 2020

Very well written Kathi. I hope others take this information and can experience some of the wonderful accomplishments you have attained. Very proud of our family artist.

Laurie Cauthen - Jan 30, 2020

What an amazing talent…especially for only using colored pencils a few years!

Tiffany - Jan 30, 2020

Wonderful read, very motivating!

Desaray P - Jan 30, 2020

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