Applying to grants, fellowships, residencies and open calls is not an easy one. Between the insecurities you might feel about applying, the competition and the fees, this part of being an artist is not an easy one. Here are a couple tricks and tips that have helped me stay sane throughout the whole progress:
· In my experience the most time was spent in acquiring the documents needed to apply. I would start this process at least a month before the application was due. Every opportunity asks for different materials, including an artist statement, proposal, resume and references. Giving yourself ample time to acquire strong materials is important.
· Make a detailed list of all the applications you are doing. Included in this list should be deadlines, fees and your plan of progress. This is helpful as you track your progress and keep everything ordered and neat. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I did not have the chance of applying to because of my disorganization. It even works if you apply this to calendar form, as a visual person this helps me the most. Keep this information somewhere where you can see it every day, helps to keep up your motivation.
· Ask for help, don’t try and do it all alone. Have people read over your material, the more people the better. Read it out loud and kind if treat it like a growing child, not fragile, but be ready to change and cultivate it.
· Give yourself time, nothing great happens overnight. Writing out your finalized project from your brain to the paper might take a couple of attempts. Not giving yourself, enough time will only amount to unwanted stress that you do not need.
· Don’t be afraid to edit or take out. Most proposals have a word count that you must adhere to. Editing allows for the most important information to stay in tack while everything else gets faded out.
· Think the whole project through, look for holes in your proposal. Be clear, concise, and direct.
Project Proposal Template: