The other day I got my copy of "Creative Jewelry", a (I believe) once-yearly publication with tons of cool jewelry in it. Somehow, my "Bonsai" necklace ended up in it, and after seeing all the other jewelry in the magazine, I was a bit embarrassed that my simple piece took up a page.
Here's the piece I made, using a polymer clay pendant from BlockPartyPress:
This poor little necklace has been out there for more than a year, nearly two if I'm not mistaken, because that's just how the magazine business works. So instead of a "Yay me!" that I really don't think I deserve, I want to tell YOU how to get your pieces seen and into a magazine.
First, know your audience. If you're into seed beads, then Bead and Button magazine is a good one for you. Do you mostly string or use simple wire work? Try BeadStyle, Stringing, and publications of that sort. Are you heavy into wire? Try Step by Step Wire. Do you work with polymer clay, do traditional metal work, or do lapidary? Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is for you. And if you do mixed media or art jewelry, things that really push the creative border, try Belle Armoire Jewelry.
There are more magazines out there, but these are the ones that I see most often on the news stands. The main thing is, check them all out, and make an informed decision -- what fits your style the best?
Second, know the rules. Each magazine's web site has a link that leads to a page that lays out the rules for submissions. Some are OK with your sending a photograph to an editor to show them what you were thinking of sending in. Some are not. A few magazines have deadlines to meet, while others are more free-flowing. And some will say, "this is the theme we're looking for" while others will just "know it when they see it."
Third, send them the best photograph you possibly can. You want them to be wowed by your work, and to do that, your photo must ROCK. Keep practicing, because this part of the process can only help you sell your jewelry! I've been selling jewelry for nearly six years now, and I'm still working on it. I don't think I'll ever be truly satisfied. So send in a clear, eye-catching photo that really shows your piece to its best advantage.
Lastly, realize that the magazine world runs on a long time table. You may not hear from anyone for a while. Or you may hear from someone right away, but your piece may not be scheduled to see the light of day until nine months from now. Be sure to meet all their deadlines, write all the tutorial material clearly (it helps to have a friend try to make your piece by following only your tutorial), and then sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
If you click here, you can see the publications I've been in. It may seem like a lot, but believe me -- I've had waaaaaay more rejections than acceptance emails. So don't let a "thanks but your work doesn't fit this issue" get you down! Keep at it. Improve your skills, continue to submit, and don't give up.
I know you can do it.
Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.
Cover Copyright © 2010. Not to be reprinted