The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft and Creativity

Entries closed on Tuesday, March 31

There is a long publishing tradition of the creative annual. Creative industries like graphic design, illustration and advertising each have their own dedicated annual books and special edition magazines that compile the best of each category. For designers and illustrators, to be included in an annual is a benchmark of success. It helps get them recognized within their industry and opens doors to new opportunities. For aspiring creatives, annuals showcase what is possible in their field. They inspire, educate and promote. And as the years pass, the annuals serve as important cultural artifacts—a snapshot of the trends and aesthetics of a particular year.

When it comes to craft and the independent maker movement, there hasn’t been an annual to celebrate and document all the amazing talent and beautiful products being made each year. Across the Internet there are blog posts, websites and Etsy listings, but these are scattered and fleeting: items are sold, sites are updated with more current projects, blog posts quickly get buried by the latest thing. We’re so busy looking for what’s new, that there isn’t time to appreciate what we’ve already done.

The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity will collect the most inspiring work of the past few years into a beautiful print publication. Product showcases will present some of the most outstanding items in various categories. Rich with stories of the makers, it will include interviews, studio tours and delve into the creative process. Much like UPPERCASE's Work/Life directory of illustration series pushed the illustration annual to a new level of quality content, the UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity will inform and inspire.

How to Participate

The submission form is now closed.

An entry fee of $75 will go towards print production and administration costs. Submissions will be accepted online and reviewed by UPPERCASE editor and designer Janine Vangool. Entries will be considered for the quality of the work, good publication-ready photographs, interesting studio and process shots and thorough answers to the questionnaire. Like UPPERCASE magazine, the Compendium will strive to be as inclusive as possible. It is open to makers worldwide. Having your work available for sale online is not a requirement. Regardless of whether your submission is chosen for publication, all entrants will also receive a copy of the Compendium when it is released. The preorder price of the Compendium is valued at $25. The call for entry will remain open until at least the end of February. The anticipated publication date is late summer 2015.

Categories

Jewellery / Metals
Fabric Arts / Textiles / Quilting
Knitting / Crochet / Needlework
Ceramics / Glass / Wood / Dimensional
Printmaking / Letterpress / Stationery (handmade)
Clothing / Fashion / Accessories
Toys / Softies / Children’s products
Painting / Drawing / Photography / Art
Design / Illustration / Lettering (i.e. if you sell prints of your work)

questionnaire

The entry form questionnaire is quite extensive. I recommend preparing all your answers and getting your images together first (scroll down to read the questionnaire), then click below to cut and paste into the entry form. Please do your best to answer thoroughly—this is intended for a book, after all, so interesting and thoughtful answers are appreciated. Not all answers will necessarily be published, but I want to get to know you as much as possible here. If writing isn't your thing or if English isn't your first language, don't worry — submissions will be edited as required and we will contact you for additional information, if needed. The questions are listed at right so that you can easily cut and paste them into a word processing program while you're writing them. (Bonus points for spell-checking your entry!) 

IMAGE PREPARATION

Include photos or files of your very best work as well as process shots, images of your studio or workspace and tools and at least one photo of you. Photos should be publication-ready: files should be at least 6 inches wide at 300dpi or as large as you have them (if they’re larger, that’s great, no need to make them smaller. Bigger is better when it comes to print files.) RGB is fine. Please save them with your last name in the file name. Please provide at least 5 images. You may upload as many as 30 images, but please only send your very best. If a photographer has shot these images for you, there is a space in the form to provide the credit.

What is the purpose of this book?
Across the Internet there are blog posts, websites and Etsy listings, but these are scattered and fleeting: items are sold, sites are updated with more current projects, blog posts quickly get buried by the latest thing. We’re so busy looking for what’s new, that there isn’t time to appreciate what we’ve already done. This book will be a beautiful compilation of all that we're making and doing. And with your insights and wisdom provided in your answers, it will also be informative and inspirational for others in creative fields.
 

Why is there an entry fee?
There is an early bird entry fee of $60 USD to cover administration costs and production costs. The print costs alone on this book (which will likely be the same dimensions as UPPERCASE magazine, but around 160 pages) start at $20,000. You will get a copy of the book as part of your entry fee. I'm committed to producing this book, but the entry fee and preorders will go towards the print bill.

Why is the questionnaire so long?
They're there to get to know you, beyond your pretty images. With a diversity of questions, we can craft articles on different topics, compile tips, sidebar content, etc. Together, we're building a book! Just do your best to answer the questions; even if writing isn't your strong suit. 

What if my work doesn't fit in one category?
The categories are mostly there to aid in sorting through, so just pick one that best suits or select "other".

How do you choose who gets in?
Over the past six years of UPPERCASE, I've really developed my "eye" for talent and what makes interesting content. I'm discerning, yet fair. I strive to be inclusive and if I see potential in what you've written or the images that you've submitted but they're not quite good enough yet, I'll be in touch about how we can improve them together. -Janine
 

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BOOK PREORDERS

If you want to support this project by preordering a book, click here to go to the shop. Thank you!

 

HERE'S A PREVIEW OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE IN CASE YOU WANT TO PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS AND CUT AND PASTE THEM INTO THE ENTRY FORM.

What is your life story, in one or two paragraphs? Who or what shaped your creative path?

Write down 3-5 words that describe your work.

Describe what you make: what is it? What is its function? What it is made of? Who is it for?

What makes your work unique? Do you have a signature style or recognizable object that you are known for?

Conversely, do you see yourself or your work as part of a larger trend?

Are you part of a creative community? Please describe it.

What is your process for making your object or craft?

Please describe your workspace.

Why are you a maker? Why are you passionate about your craft?

What is the most challenging thing about a life in craft? The most rewarding?

Do you sell your work? How and where do you sell? What are the challenges of selling craft and creativity?

What have you learned about your craft by selling? Does selling your wares inform your creativity in any way?

How do you stay inspired? What motivates you?

What has been a career highlight for you in this past year?

What are your aspirations for the years ahead? How do you see your work evolving?

Anything else you’d like to share?