Cashed Up: Money for Artists

Cashed up: Money for Artists,  3rd August 2012
The Behind the Scene program, presented by Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre and Canberra Contemporary Art Space, will deliver a series of presentations and panel discussions by industry leaders and experts on Friday 3 August and Friday 10 August 2012.

These are my notes from the day

Using the internet:
·      searching the internet, searching for opportunities for exhibitions
· David Byrne's survival strategies for emerging artists
·      take every opportunity you can for getting your work seen in your local communities as well as on the net/galleries etc
·      just work and make sure it's shown, by whatever avenue you can
Sales and commissions, grants and awards and prizes
OZCO The price is right ? _ about pricing your work
Top ten tips to sell your art
·      make good art
·      be ethical
·      don't have suppressive people around you - be aware of where that comes from (personal tastes, envy)
·      promote, promote, promote the law of the universe - outflow =inflow, the more you put out the more you will get back
Explore how to price your work competitively.
Value of price -  our tendency is to undervalue our work, due to a lack of confidence.
Making art on commission, tips for artists
Discounting your work - be careful about doing this indiscriminately because it can undermine the value of your arts practise.
Promoting yourself and the gallery with which you are involved.
The collaborative nature of the networks who support each other through using and shareing resources.
Crafts council UK   check out their website
research regarding the current craft market in the current market conditions
Who are your buyers? what are their characteristics? What can you give them? What is the ripple effect of that buyer?
Sales & Commissions
Crafts councils and art organisations can be very supportive in promoting and networking for you. Keep CVs up to date with arts organisations.
Be aware of different types of getting money
Get to know one another. Meet the people who can sell your work. Have the people selling your work done this before? Make sure that you have a portfolio of different types of work you do.
At the end of the negotiations write and sign a contract -
·      characteristics of the art,
·      payment schedule (how are you going to be paid and when and how much)
·      completion times
·      delivery
·      don't change the art between negotiated commission  and final artwork
Check websites because that is where grants are advertised. Subscribe to websites and constantly apply, even if you are knocked back once. Don't take it personally.
Grant websites
The Ian Potter Centre
Awards and Prizes
Sign up for newsletters
JJJ radio station , realise your dreams
Fullbright Association has a visual arts award association to study in America
Hans Heysen award for the interpretation of place
ACT arts awards       

Philanthropy and Crowd Funding
Philanthropy Australia - list of links to philanthropic organisations
Australia  Council:
one on one membership
great links page to some resources
AbaFs Australia Cultural Fund
you can register to apply for a grant by proposing a project etc. Ever Brickhill heads up the Abaf office here in Canberra.
Crowd funding -
people do wnat to give if you give people a platform to do it through
·      an Australian based platform
·      informative website
·      primarily for creative projects and ideas
·      any types of arts
·      you need a particular project, a timeline (40-50days) tips on how to get it out there
·      if it successful you get the money,
·      if it is unsuccessful you don't lose anything

Keep your finger on the pulse:
become members of industry associations
Arts Hub -ResArtis (Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies)
Craft ACT
Asialink Arts Experimenta
How to succeed in the art world?
·      set yearly, five year and ultimate career goals
·      be Committed to realising your goals
·      Understand where your work fits into the market - who is actually interested in your work; what galleries are going to be a good fit for your work
·      document your work and career - this is very important!! take professional photos
·      work with your own mailing list - develop your own mailing list, force your friends to appear at your openings, a big audience looks good
·      find role models and mentors -  ArtStart - mentoring, latch yourself onto people
·      network with your peers
·      be a visible participant in the art world - turn up to shows, get to know gallery directors, be in people's faces make approaches to people volunteer to work at a gallery or arts organisation
·      make efforts to promote your work
·      secure appropriate representation at each stage of your career - people working for you, maybe an organisation or dealer, get introduced to the right people
·      Always have work ready to show, 'always have a show ready to go'

Standing out in the Crowd
Ten Tips in Ten Minutes
*Mia Ching Arts Admin, with ArtsACT
"In all my years in grant funding I am yet to see a bad idea" but they can be underdeveloped or bad applications
·      1. Refine your idea so that it is clearer than crystal. Plan your idea, talk to everyone you can think of, get feedback and refine before applying for a grant or arts body, be able to explain your idea to someone in two sentences, have a back up paragraph that elucidates it a little more
·      Have the two sentences visibly displayed  when you are planning. Use very positive language
·      Tell your story starting with what you want to do, then say why you want to do it to capture the attention of the panel, sell yourself in five minutes, get the attention straight away
2. The Best Fit
·      Consider the context of the funding panel - how does your work fit with the organisation's aims?
·      find a fund that fits your project
·      who is going to be reading your grant application and write for your target audience
·      avoid jargon if possible
·      make sure you can answer the funding bodies questions articulately
3. You Are a Professional - look and behave like one
·      behave like a professional, be prepared
·      develop a thick skin
·      ask for feedback about the quality of your work and the quality of your application
·      make sure your pictures/photos etc are the highest quality possible
4. Business Bran/Creative Brain
·      develop your business brain
5. Crunching the Numbers
·      make sure you approach an arts organisation that has the fund that you need for your projects,
·      know the numbers about what you need for your project, that is appropriate to your level of practise
·      substantiate your costs with quotes and be prepared to explain that to the panel
·      Don't over inflate your costs or undervalue your costs; be realistic and informed
·      using a staged approach to funding
·      planning research development - production - exhibition documentation publication
6. Living in a Virtual World
·      label your attachments
·      film a short piece that can be accessed by crowd funding organisations
·      use your best skills
·      have a website
·      stick to the limits for file sizes etc
·      allow for possible technical glitches
·      make sure links work
·      email address referencing your name (sensible)
·      quality control your website
·      it is about how you present and how the funding panel
·      7. Ask the right people for help
·      Don't be frightened to ask any questions no matter how silly it might seem
·      persist with getting through to the right people to get answers and help
8. Inspire
·      make sure it is your best idea, make sure it is exciting
·      inspire confidence in your ability to develop a project and bring it to fruition
9. If at First You don't Succeed
·      expect to not get every grant
·      have a contingency plan to get your projects up
·      how are you going to make it work anyway?
·      keep your good ideas alive
10 Keep Trying
·      be think skinned
·      get on with it
·      put rejections behind you and move on
·      you can't control who you are up against
·      second round applicants who have requested feedback on their first application are more likely to get a grant
*Carolyn Stacey - Street Theatre artistic director and CEO
·      Grants bodies, arts organisations don't necessarily have something that they are looking for ; you as an artist can come up with an idea that they might want to engage with
·      value your own originality
·      'There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem' Gore Vidal - use the right language to sell your work
·      in any grant round you have to succeed and succeed again
·      be persistent
·      you can learn how to use the grant process even if you initially feel that it is something that doesn't sit well with your practise
·      do you really want or need the money? if you can get the money without going through the grant process maybe you are better to just do it
·      make a conscious decision and set the time to do the grant
·      elevator pitch - between one floor and another you need to be able to sell the idea
·      frame the idea in a question - pose a question in a way that will stimulate someone to ask 'What's next?'
·      structure of your grant
·      have rigour in terms of the conversation you have around the idea
·      the intention is to illuminate, not confuse
·      don't get bogged down in art speak
·      understand the context you are working in and match your idea to the grants that are out there
·      identify your collaborators and partners - really know how you want to work as an artist and be able to articulate it. Do you like strong structure to work within or are you an open, organic 'let it flow' sort of person. Know yourself.
·      have your ideas and some work ready a year in advance
·      the idea is not the only thing that is responded to - the way you present, your timing
·      don't shape a project to fit the criteria of an organisation or grant
·      the integrity of your own ideas and practise are important
·      relationships with arts organisations are very important - get yourself known and know what is happening in the art scene around you
·      deal with getting quotes and know your budget, it reveals the way you are thinking about your project - it shows what you are prioritising and how you expect your project to look and work - be realistic about how different elements of your project work together (advertising)
·      letters of support, your group of mentors, who can support you? in the grant process; establish useful working relationships and nurture them
·      choose what you put in your application carefully - people will look at stuff if it is interesting so make sure that your couple of key images that capture the fundamentals of your project (time is everything)
·      relationships are fundamental
·      it is possible to pay someone to write a grant if it is something you don't know how to do. What are you prepared to spend on your own career?
Esther Anaslitis? Regional Arts Victoria Director, Co-curator of Architecture and Philosophy
Artist profile, artist career developing your public voice across your practice and throughout your artistic career
·      Setting an agenda that is yours and set your own scene
·      what about you? who is your work for ? How are you going to impact on the Australian/international community? These questions are not separate from your career. The need to be integrated with your profile and self advocacy. Know yourself and your development and document it well before applying for a grant
Deep practice/Studio immersion/Focusing on the work
·      If you resent the work put into accessing grants, philanthropy, you will not likely do it well so recognise that that is a strategic decision you have made. If you are going to apply, make sure it is something you feel good about
Build a profile
·      you will already have a language about your work when you apply for a grant, you won't need to create it under pressure
·      how do you want to develop a profile in an ongoing way
Hone Your language for the selection criteria, for the media -don't be easily frustrated or compromised when discussing your work with different audiences. Put yourself in the place of journalist/ arts person and use your language to encourage them to support you

Build long term relationships with mentors and peers. Some of them will be on a selection panel. Panels want to know that they are making a significant impact on the world/local artistic stage, remember that when writing/speaking to the panel. Sell yourself, ring people and suggest meetings where you can talk about your ideas/projects.
Access letters of support from people who are relevant and know what to write and who know your work and can talk about it.
Think about applying to the right organisation. Don't waste time writing applications to organisations that are not going to want to partner with you.
Crowd funding - takes a lot of time so plan for and timetable the time needed to integrate the information and ideas you are selling.
Plan for unintended consequences. Work on your language, networks and profile as a long term investment in your career.
Respond to the criteria that are in the grant process, they have been designed to engage you in a process which will access the funds being offered.
Each grant application is part of a continuum that you drive.

Talk about your work as if it is already done when you are applying for grant money. Organised people, those who know what they want and how to get there, are going to stand out in a crowd.

Behind the Scenes - do's and don'ts about applying for grants
What the people who assess submissions for funding might consider:
1. How well does this submission actually respond to the brief, briefs are your
2. How does this submission deal with risks (the biggest risk is that the project won't give you the outcome you want, what are you going to do if that happens?)
3. Is the submission actually going to engage with the target audience?.
J.U.M.P. Queensland director
Top 5 do's and don'ts of arts grant writing applications:
1. Study - prepare, know the guidelines, examine successful. Force yourself to read the guidelines from start to finish.  What kind of language does the organisation use? Make it easy for the panel to match your project to their grant language. Look at case studies and see what other people who have accessed the grants have done. What was the extra spark in their application that pushed them over - was it community collaboration? cross cultural engagement?
Funding bodies won't fund you to do the same thing again. Make sure there is an element of 'stretch' when you put an application in.
2. Tell the story
Look at the questions in guidelines/grant application and answer these questions first
Don't forget to add the supporting information like planning timelines, budgets etc so the panel can see how their funding can support your project.
3. Truly Plan
The language of grant applications is important.
Work backwards from your finished project and then plan a realistic timeline which includes, framing, possible technical glitches. A panel is not going to fund something that is unrealistic, so be realistic.
4. Budgeting
·      make sure that your income equals your expenditure, that your budget balances; it is okay to include a payment for yourself
·      other sources of funding - funding bodies expect you to seek funding from other sources. Applying for state and federal funding at the same time. One application can be adapted for other organisations. (Myer foundation, Ian Potter foundation - philanthropic organisations that 'talk' to each other)
·      in kind income  -  if you plan for a sum of money for a particular aspect of your project make sure you use it appropriately, don't behave as if it is cash in the bank to spend on anything you choose
5. Evaluate the success of your project. Plan for a survey or something that is measurable that you can present to the grant panel.
If you are appealing to some aspect of the grant brief, be specific about how you  are going to meet that through your application, don't just state that you will achieve it somehow.

1. Don't lose sight of where you are in the grant process, check that each of your questions is responding to the selection criteria..
2. Don't assume that the panel will know your work, or the history of it.
3. Don't be unsupportive of yourself.
Use good, relevant supportive materials to enable the panel to move you up the list.
Use the correct format which is asked for in the grant, not something that you prefer.
4. Don't disrespect your grant contact. Meet due date. If you are asked questions, respond immediately. Don't send applications in late.
When you read or get feedback don't be bitter. Take the notes, take it on the chin and have a good think about what was said.
5. Don't give up. Get feedback, reapply, there is nothing wrong with not getting it the first time.

If when you ring for feedback the grant contact recommends other grants you might apply for, take it seriously. They are probably telling you that you are not the best fit for this grant.

Catrina Vignando Creative Ventures Unlimited
aim is to provide professional services to people in the creative industries
Blue Sky
·      you are working in a relationship with makers and funding/exhibition bodies
·      meet the people who are making the decisions when you get the opportunity, make opportunities to meet them
When applying for funding:
know your story - the story is when you are going be persuading the panel that you can achieve what you are proposing. Make sure the grant you are applying for marries with your project, this will be in the guidelines.
Do your research;
You are competing against many people for money. Include  things like how feasible your project is; does your application comply with 'working with children' guidelines or other legal requirements? If you are doing public art work make sure you can comply with OH&S requirements in the place that you want to stage the project. The panel wants to know that you are aware that these things are going to be taken into account. Have you got a venue, can you secure a venue? Make sure that information is in your proposal. Use key words that are particular to the brief.
Do you have a reliable track record. Keep a record of what you have done in the past to share with a funding agency so that they can see that what you are claiming you can do has some substantive basis in reality. Make sure images match the story you are 'telling'. Visual material supports the written application.
Get support for your project:
Find out who the people are that can help you to get where you want or to get funding. Invite them to openings or introduce yourself when you get the chance. Go to openings and network.
Believe in the idea:
If you need approvals go out and meet relevant people or organisations which might help you to achieve your outcome so that you can talk knowledgably about your project, answer questions and name organisations to support your proposal.
Make sure expenditure and income in your grant budget balance. Get help from a relevant person if you don't understand how that works. Arts council people are available to support you, make sure you access those people if necessary. Make sure you acquit previous grants you receive and report back on what you have achieved with the grant.
Putting it all together:
Demonstrate that the research and the work regarding your project has been done before the panel meeting. Be prepared. What are going to be the benefits of your project? Make sure you can answer this question.
Reflect into past successes - personal testimonies, twitter responses, comments on blog/website
Don't misrepresent yourself. Be careful that your paperwork/accounting is up to date.
Consult with relevant organisations that might be involved with your project before you write your application.

Living Treasures project.

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