When I get caught up on a painting, like I did the other day, not sure where to go –
that’s when I stop, pause and go inward.
I turn off the music if it’s on, sit down, close my eyes, and center myself.
Just in that centering, I gain clarity.
The other day, for instance, from that centered place I knew that I needed to focus on one painting at time.
So I let all the others in the series go for a moment and just picked one.
I looked at it, appreciated it, picked off the remnants of blue tape on the edges and declared it done.
I was delighted to find that the piece had different meanings depending on which way I turned it.
We can look outside ourselves for support and advice on our work, but I find the very best advisor is myself.
And not just myself but my Self. That part I connect with in meditation. The guidance I hear in the inner stillness.
What about you? When you are working on something and are not sure which way to proceed, what do you do to figure it out?
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Are you aware of the thousands of grants for artists to fund their work?
Artist grants are offered all over the world to help support artists in the creation and sharing of their work.
Look for the list of resources for grants for individual artists at the end of this article.
Last month, I was in the process of applying for an artist grant. As often happens when doing administrative work, I found my initial flush of enthusiasm of the project diminished in the bureaucratic minutia of applying.
Has this every happened to you? You get all excited about an opportunity, only to lose steam part of the way through?
I created a video on the spot to share with you how I realigned myself with my purpose and vision to reinvigorate the application process.
Whether you are an emerging artist, a seasoned professional there are funding opportunities worth exploring.
Many are geared towards artists from a particular region. A great place to start is to your local arts council. Your municipality may have one or if you live in a smaller city or rural area, try your county, province or state arts council for opportunities. If you live in a smaller country, your national arts council or foundation may have excellent resources for you.
Getting started finding opportunities may be overwhelming at first. I recommend starting small.
If you are interested in learning more, make a 20 minute research appointment with yourself in your calendar for next week. This is something you can do after work some evening – even if you are too tired to go to your studio, committing a few minutes to finding opportunities to support yourself is a way you can demonstrate your commitment to yourself and gently nudge yourself along the path to playing a bit larger, stretching outside of your normal comfort zone.
It’s important not to get too bogged down. I find for myself, slow and steady wins the race. Setting aside small increments of time each day or each week works better for me than chaining myself to the computer for hours at a time.
If you find one you would like to apply for, write the deadline in your calendar and then schedule in weekly grant writing sessions for yourself so you have plenty of time to hone and edit your application.
If this is your first time, think of it as training for writing a grant. You will learn much in the process of putting together a proposal. This can then be edited and crafted for future proposals as well. Just the process of applying for a grant will encourage you to take your work seriously and think of yourself in a more professional context. It’s creating a bigger vision of yourself.
You may want to start a general search or you may narrow your search from the start. There are grants out there specifically for younger artists, mature artists, LGBT artists, artist of Latino, Native American, African-American descent, artist working in specific media, artists working with specific subject matter, etc.
What follows is a brief list of opportunities out there to get your started. Please share any additional opportunities you find with our whole community in the comments section below.
And as always leave questions or suggestions for future articles in the topics area below. Let me know how I can assist you!
The California Arts Council has a list of grants available to artists throughout the United States.
For artists in Minnesota and 5 boroughs of New York http://www.jeromefdn.org/apply/general-program
The Guggenheim Foundation offers one of the most prestigious grants in the United States for visual artists:
Pollack-Krasner Foundation: Grants to artists worldwide with demonstrable financial need and recognizable artistic merit
Creative Capital provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging Fields, Film/Video, Literature, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.
From Fractured Atlas: A list of some grants with upcoming deadlines
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