Eternally optimistic

March 3, 2007 at 11:16 am (art, culture, life, personal)

If you’re an artist who is:

*over 25
*a US citizen
*working in the field for 5+ years

…chances are you will be spending at least part of this weekend working on a Creative Capital grant. I know I sure will be.

And really, you should too if you meet the above criteria. I know, it’s hard to endlessly apply to these things and not get anywhere; grants are so notoriously competitive that it’s easy to just want to give up. I feel your pain.

But listen: Just the other week, I was on a panel to choose scholarships for college students. It was… annoying. Obviously, the vast majority of students thought, “I’m never going to get this, so I’m not even going to apply.” As a result, we had about 1/10th the applicants I thought we would have. And ultimately, it didn’t wind up to be that competitive. If you applied, had a decent application that held water, and were halfway ok as an artist, you walked away with money. It was just that simple. I learned a really good lesson that day.

Creative Capital won’t be like that. It’s practically guaranteed that fifty kagillion people are going to apply for it. But still, how are you supposed to be one of the lucky few who wins it if you never bother to enter? Artists are pretty good at not hiding their light under a barrel, and yet we drop the ball when it comes to this stuff – and it’s socially acceptable to be the person who says, “Yeah, I don’t apply for those things.” You’d never say, “Yeah, I don’t care about exhibiting my work” or “I don’t care about about selling work ever.” Your friends would look at you like you were a looney.

I mean, there are limits. You can’t apply to everything and of course, it’s ok to take a little time off to lick your wounds. But c’mon people: there’s a hell of a lot of money on the line here. It’s worth your time to toss together an application. Do it do it do it!

They’re due on Monday, so get crackin’!


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