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Old 08-06-2003, 11:07 AM   #1
Mary Sparrow Mary Sparrow is offline
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Applying for grant money?




I wasn't sure where to post this question, so hopefully this is appropriate.

Now that I am finally finished birthing babies, I am ready to become serious about my portrait business. I can not compare to may of the artists on this forum, but am ready to devote my all to fine tuning this craft.

For the past 10 years, I have been very pleased to be able to earn a nice amount of money for my efforts. Especially considering I do not advertise and have had no formal training. Painting portraits was not something I set out to do, it just sort of happened when one woman asked could I paint people? I replied no, the next day she showed up on my doorstep with paints, brushes and canvas a picture of her child and said try. Well, I did, she loved it (and boy, I absolutely cringe whenever I see it now!) so did her neighbor and the chain began.

At any rate, I am at a point in my life where I am ready to get busy. I need more supplies, I need to attend workshops, I need books and so on. Money is extremely tight around here these days and I need money to make money at this point.

Our county has a grant for up to $3500 for aspiring professional artists. I just recieved the application today and am in a total absolute panic about how to even remotely go about filling this thing out. I have never even had a slide made of a work of art, Never showed my work in public! I have no body of work other than the few I have done of my children.The only thing I have to show for myself is on avg. 1.5 commissioned portraits a month for the last 10 years. So how is a person like me, supposed to compete for grant money?

They ask for my resume, what resume

I need three letters of recommendaion "from professionals in the same field, that can speak to your talent and artistic potential."

I don't even KNOW any other artists! Well I know one portrait artist, that's it.

So, what do I do? I HAVE been a working artist, that by some stroke of luck makes really nice amount of money for a part time job. The grant money is for working artists needing to advance. I fit that description, I just don't have all the things I need to fill out the grant application without looking quite pitiful.

Any suggestions? Or should I just avoid embarrasment and take out a loan?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:26 AM   #2
Stanka Kordic Stanka Kordic is offline
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Hello Mary,

I think you should give it a shot, what have you got to lose, except some time? (although I know, as a mother, you don't have much of that).

I would disagree with you and say you have a body of work. Go back and find the absolute best commissions you have done, and photograph them. If you can, also add a few other things, like a still life, or a landscape.

Resume? List your clients, when you've done work for them, and the cities they live in. Letters? contact 3 people you are comfortable asking from here, show some work and ask if they can write.

Better to try and fail than to not try at all...BUT, think POSITIVE! Best of luck.
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:45 AM   #3
Mary Sparrow Mary Sparrow is offline
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Thank you Stanka

I'm trying to wimp out, my husband is pushing me to do it. Not so much for the money, but for the fact it will get me organized. I can't believe how long that application is.

Anyway, I think I have two people to give me letters of recomendation. One is a professional portrait painter and one is a Certified art appraiser out of South Carolina. She also owns a gallery and paints herself. She isn't a portrait artist, but don't you think she would be more than qualified as a reference?

I have always been so insecure about this art stuff, simply because I don't have formal training.

As far as the resume, I was thinking too, besides clients, do I list things like portraits that have been donated to charity auctions, and works that I did for Designer Charity houses and so forth?
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:46 PM   #4
Stanka Kordic Stanka Kordic is offline
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SEE! You're thinking of all kinds of great ideas and people. Definitely use the art appraiser, and your silent auction involvements are great. I really don't see why you wouldn't have as good a chance as anyone.

An art education isn't always all that its cracked up to be. I learned some skills, but also, so much of the time I was thoroughly confused by what many of my teachers were telling me. That is, if they talked with me at all. Much of what I learned came after I graduated. Also keep in mind the grant people are looking to award it to a worthy artist, not one with an impressive resume. A fancy resume does not guarantee instant success of any kind. Your work ethic does.

Go for it Mary, and whatever happens keep your spirits high.
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:25 AM   #5
Julianne Lowman Julianne Lowman is offline
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Time for an Update

O.K. It's been a while since the introduction of this thread and I'm dying to know how your grant project is going. Since you and I have similar art backgrounds I have a particular interest in this and wish you only the best of luck.
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