For the past 17 years I have made my way to my State Capital, Sacramento to be a judge in the Creative Arts Building of the State Fair. It is both fun and hard at the same time. As a judge, I must be as objective as possible. My likes and dislikes should not play into the decisions. I have a strict set of rules that must be followed. And I need to remember, this IS the State Fair. Each item entered must be the “Best of the Best.”
After these past 17 years I consider myself to be “The Queen of Any Other.” When people enter their items, if it doesn’t fit any category in the book, it goes to “Any Other”.
In one year I am given to judge categories such as leatherwork, metal yard art (LOVED that one), beading, dolls, stuffed animals, clay, woodworking, china painting, and the BIGGIE, “any other”. If a person entering an item to be judged, cannot find its classification in the fair handbook, the simplest thing to do is put it in “any other”. Also, the first thing the other judges (sometimes as many as 15)must do is look at all their entries and see if something doesn’t really fit in their group. You guessed it, move it to “Any Other”.
A few of the more memorable things I have judged in “Any Other” include a two story high (non functioning) rocket that I had to judge against a group of beautifully felted pin cushions. I’ll never forget the year I had to judge a life-sized Pegasus horse (with wings outstretched) made entirely of silver knives, spoons, and forks! How about the most exquisitely sewn 1880’s horse-back riding costume in off-white super soft glove leather. It had ruffles, flounces, a bustle, matching hat, gloves, and purse. I could just go on and on about the cool things I have been able to judge. And every year is different of course.
There is so much creativity out there in the art world. So get going on whatever is creative to you. Make it up, make it happen, and above all, make it FUN! And don’t tell me you don’t have much time. Everyone can find 15 minutes a day. Start there, 15 minutes a day and see where it leads.