If you are one of Daniel James Keys’ 463 friends on Facebook, you’ve noticed that he used the cover of the July/August issue of American Artist as his avatar, the small image that appears when he posts a comment or news of his professional activities on the social-networking website. That’s because one of Daniel’s still life paintings was reproduced on the cover of the summer issue. Since then, the young California artist’s career has really taken off. He was asked to be a panelist at the Weekend With the Masters event at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, he was accepted for representation by Greenhouse Gallery, in San Antonio, and Richard Schmid invited him to spend a week painting with the Putney Painters, in Vermont.
Daniel would be the first to say that having a painting reproduced on the cover of American Artist, Drawing or Watercolor magazines can be a huge boost to an artist’s career. As the issues hit the newsstands and arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes, the artist suddenly gains international attention from dealers, collectors, students, and professional artists. Moreover, the publication becomes a certification of the artist’s talent and a useful promotional tool that can be used throughout his or her career.
In some ways, Daniel was just lucky that one of the magazine’s editors noticed his paintings in the gallery section of the Artist Daily website. If you aren’t willing to wait for the same kind of lucky break, you can enter the cover contest that ends November 2, 2009. The process of entering the contest and uploading a digital image of your artwork is simple and only takes a few minutes. It’s not too late to make a bid for the same kind of public recognition that Daniel is now enjoying.