On entering A&S competitions when you feel you won’t win

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I’d like to try doing an A&S project for competition, but I’ve learned enough to know that the materials I can afford or find right now are not perfect. Should I enter even if I might not do well?”

A reply from the Minister:


Why? Because you said you’d like to try a competition.

So, yes! Please!


You know what I’ve learned in my time working on arts and sciences projects? Projects are not really “perfect” in the first place. We’re always learning.

We’re finding out ways to better execute our entries. Or we are discovering new avenues of research. Or our skills get better. Or we’re finding new ways to challenge ourselves.

I think many of the people who enter A&S Competitions, or who display their work, could readily tell you many of the ways that they think they could make their work better. And that includes when they would be making substitutions for materials due to cost or access.

That’s okay! That’s a way we could improve. So, enter that competition. And be ready to learn.

Start by reading the rules of your competition. Understand how it is scored so that you know what to expect. Ask questions if you need to. Say up front in your documentation that you’ve made substitutions and why you’ve made them.

And the? Be prepared to not get points for that part of your score. That sounds reasonable, right?

That’s okay to not get all of the possible points. Why? Because you already know why you are received that part of your score. You know it isn’t something personal. And you know it isn’t about the work you’ve done and what you were able to achieve with your work. Because you already have that understanding with your materials. Or, really, any part of your entry that you know you’re still working on to improve.

Instead of focusing on the points, put your focus on that reason that you’re entering.

What’s your goal?

Do you want to teach through your entry?

Then make sure you’re spending your time and effort on your display and your documentation and your conversations with people. Make the most of those teaching opportunity.

Do you want to learn by entering?

Then make sure you’re spending your time and effort asking questions. Then, work or listening, understanding, and taking notes on what to work on. Have conversations with people about your opportunities for growth.

Do you want to win?

Okay. Well. Maybe in that case you wouldn’t want to enter. Yet!

Wanting to win is okay! That’s not the issue. But. Instead? You might want to do another project that could get you closer to the score that could help you win. Or, you might want to wait to enter this project when you can get the more appropriate materials that would help you out with that score.

So, please!

Come. Enter. Share your work.

Enter and display works in progress. Share works that are not perfect. Share works that are your first attempts. Share works that need improvement. Share works that you think are your best efforts.

We want to see all of it!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,

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