International Guild of Realism (IGOR)

25 October 2016

Blog post

Six weeks after submitting my membership’s application to the International Guild of Realism (IGOR), I finally received the approval via email on the 24th October, 2016.

I truly cannot believe my luck and took me quite a while to read through the email, several times, in order for the news to sink it. IGOR is an organisation that promotes Realism art in all medium.

To be accepted as a member of IGOR,  Coloured Pencil …… You can imagine my joy.


Now, one may wonder what is so great about getting accepted as a member? When I posted the news on my Facebook page, there were some comment asking what is it all about and why is there a need to ‘belong’ to certain organisation/group.

Before I go into details on why, here is what is IGOR all about.

Our mission is to advance realism in fine art through museum exhibitions, art gallery shows, workshops and education programs conducted by our Members, marketing support and Internet exposure.

For us, “realism” ranges from classical realism (based upon the traditional, academic-style painting techniques) to contemporary realism (where cutting edge techniques and subject matter are used to comment on today’s world). Trompe l’oeil, photorealism, surrealism, and super-realism are some of the genres included within the range of realism choices for modern artists, as well.

– excerpt from IGOR website

I have always been intrigued and fascinated by Realism art since the day I started painting. I try to capture every detail and nuance of colours of the subject and make it as close as the real thing.

Comments such as

‘Wouldn’t it be much easier if you take a photo’ or

‘With the advanced technologies we have now, why go all the trouble to paint it and facing hard time selling your art?’ or even

‘It is just a copy of a subject, nothing unique about Realism art’ etc…

Those are just some ‘normal’ or frequent comments that many realism artists received, no matter what medium we use. So amongst the much popular and acceptable form of  art i.e. Modern /Abstract, it seems like Realism is the least favoured or recognised style.

And that bring me back to why being a member with IGOR is deem important to me. This is an organisation that strives to promotes Realism in fine art through many ways they can. It may take a long time to get truly recognised worldwide but it is ok, it has to start somewhere.

The reputation of IGOR is very well known through the fact that they are serious in undertaking the task. IGOR membership is based on juried selection of submitted works and this gives a sense of exclusiveness to accepted members. There are several fellow coloured pencil artists who are members too and this is even more meaningful to me knowing that coloured pencil art is gaining recognition.

Now, instead of just preparing one or two piece of artwork for juried Exhibition, I have to work harder and prepare several more in a year.

…. Not complaining though.




  • MaryJane

    October 25, 2016 at 19:46

    Congratulations my friend. I am really happy for you, and so true! People look down on Realism ‘it is just copying’ ‘no creativity at all’ and so on, are just some of the things I heard.
    Glad that there is an organisation out there trying to focus on realism, and glad that quite a few of the members are colored pencil artists.

    Time to celebrate!

    1. Sharon SS Kow

      October 25, 2016 at 19:48

      Oh WOW Maryjane, that was fast!!! Thank you so very much.

      p.s.I am still ‘playing’ at my website.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.