THU is daring you to become an active voice for change and have a real impact on society through your art. We know you have it in you, but it can be nerve-wracking to get yourself out there in front of a jury and let your work speak for itself. Well, fear not; we’ve got you covered.

Your vision should never be compromised. Create freely, but to help you go through the submission process, we’ve reached out to some of our jury members to give out some pointers. Here’s what they had to say:

Listen to yourself

Your inner voices can be loud and all over the place, but you don’t have to pick just one. Embrace them all and combine them. These voices are unique to what you feel, and if you overthink or filter them, you might lose the spark that sets you apart from everyone else. Remember, your work needs to stand out and transpire personality. Self-belief can be seen from a mile away, don’t underestimate it or mistake it for arrogance; it’s a true sign of ownership. Take this advice from Jakob Eirich, our 2015 Golden Ticket winner: “It's important not to try to please anyone with your submission but yourself. Think about the theme thoroughly and try to find a hook that you deeply connect with.”

Be clear

Understand your subject matter, and don’t rely on a big wall of text to explain what you’re trying to achieve. Take your time to process what it means to be an “Agent of Change” and how your work can raise awareness on sustainability. The best way to create an impact is to be clear and straight to the point. You can still have layers, but for those to be discovered, eyes need to be stopped with a solid first impression.

Ask questions

Research is always encouraged, it’s knowledge, and there’s always shelf space for a box full of it. But research can only get you so far. We want you to go beyond it. We want you to dive into the human experience, and for that to happen, you need to understand how the subject matter makes people tick. Hopes, fears, expectations, desires - the more accurate you materialize these emotions, the more chances you have of creating a deeper connection.

Take your time

No joke here. Yes, there’s a deadline, but you don’t want to rush things; it tends to show. Give your ideas the time they need to mature. Our jury member, Nadezda, said it best: “Collect them carefully, record, research, sleep on them for a few days. Get excited by them! Have a few ideas to choose from. A good idea is the most important pillar of the artwork.”

Eyes off the prize

Remember “The Matrix”? When Neo tried to bend a spoon with his mind and failed miserably, a little kid told him there was no spoon, which prompted the piece of cutlery to bend immediately. This piece of 1990s movie trivia is a reminder that the prize is only an afterthought, and if that’s your main goal, you’ll never fully unlock your true potential. Enjoy the creative process, and embrace the challenge and its purpose.

Document your journey

Although the final work is critical, letting the jury have a peek behind the curtain is vital. It’s not only a question of judging your technical prowess; it also serves as a tour of your mind to better understand the creative process behind the finished product. Sabine Engelhardt, for instance, values “the chance to observe the development of an artwork. To 'see' how the artist thinks and interacts with the topic and the group.”.

We hope these tips inspire you to get started - we can't wait to see what you come up with. Take a step forward and rise to the challenge. Victor Hugo Queiroz, a dear member of our jury, reminds us of Monty Python’s wise words regarding failure: “You came from nothing, and now you have nothing. What did you lose? Nothing!”