THE REVIEW CHAIN
ART CHAIN INDIA︎
A democratic peer-support resource for visual artists in India, working with all media.
View available works at #ArtChainIndia︎
APPLYING FOR OPPORTUNITIES : GETTING STARTED
Today, there are many more opportunities and avenues available to practice art than there have ever been before. It can sometimes be overwhelming as you wade through these opportunities to decide which you want to focus your energies on.
Here are a few suggestions that could assist your decision making process :
Ask yourself, “Where am I in my practice right now?”
- Do you need feedback and stimulus for inspiration or quiet solitude to reflect?
- Do you already have a developed idea and need money to see it to fruition?
- Are you in your research phase and in need of support to conduct it?
- What is the eligibility criteria of the opportunity and do you meet it?
- What is the deadline and will the listed application materials be ready on time?
- How much are you compromising or altering your project or idea to meet the thematic focus or other criterias for this opportunity?
Once you have done this, here are some concrete guidelines to keep in mind:
Your application materials should be able to tell a complete story about you and your practice. Through your application funders want to be able to ascertain clearly your project, its material and financial requirements, timelines, deliverables, your artistic journey and your motivation for the project.
1. Do your homework before you apply.
Read the application guidelines in detail before you start preparing the application. Do not just read the information on the Facebook or Instagram post about the opportunity- visit the website and look over all information. Opportunities will usually list exactly what you are required to submit. Go over all the information carefully - including FAQs.
If you are still unclear, write to the organisation to clarify your doubt.
2. Understand the organisation.
Each organisation will have some kind of a mission statement or area of work that they fund. Before you apply, make sure you have understood what their interests and areas of work are.
Take a look at their past projects and other programs they have supported.
If you are applying for a very challenging or ambitious grant, try to speak to past grantees to awardees who have been successful. You can either contact the organisation itself to get connected, or try and contact the grantee themselves.
3. Study the application in detail and in advance.
It is important to study the format in which you have to submit your application, in case of online forms be sure to test/download the application well in advance to avoid last minute technical issues.
Make separate documents for your CV, Resume, Artist Statement and Portfolio. In some cases, you might also need to write a project proposal and budget and require letters of recommendations, especially if applying for grants and competitions.
Some might ask for all information on one PDF, make sure then to include all the required information in the same sequence that they have requested it in.
4. Label all your files
It is important to be meticulous with the presentation of your application. Label all your files with NameOfTheOpportunity (you are applying For) _FirstName LastName _ FileName (CV, Resume, Artist Statement, Portfolio etc )_ Year_(for eg.DutchArtResidency_JohnDoe_Portfolio_2020). This makes it easy for the application reviewers to organise your files when they are downloading information from many applicants.
5. Get feedback!
It is a good idea to get feedback from a friend, peer or mentor you trust. Knowing you and your work, they will be able to tell if your application is effective in communicating your practice, identifying parts where you may need to re-edit and refine your text to best represent your idea.
Do not seek feedback from too many people as that may confuse you , especially if you receive conflicting advice.
6. Submit your application in advance of the closing time.
Once you are ready with your reworked application, do a final spelling and grammar check (if you have a friend who is good at this, rope them in) and submit it in advance of the closing time.
This will give you a window to address any last minute technical or other issues that can arrive. If you are sharing the application via email, it is okay to request for a confirmation email from the organisation stating that they have received your completed application.
If you are submitting an online application, make sure to save a copy for yourself- most portals offer that as an option, should you not be able to figure it out, you can always screen shot!
7. Once you have hit submit.
Relax, take a break - you did your best!
Should you receive an acceptance, that is great, more work to be done! If it is a rejection, it is important to not lose all hope - maybe this opportunity wasn’t a good fit for you. In both cases, there is more work to be done.
Some spaces that offer opportunities are also open to artists requesting feedback on ways in which the application could be improved. Remember that there are many, many opportunities and avenues for artists today and you will find your fit, just don’t give up!
We will also be putting up a BIG opportunities list for artists in India soon, keep a look out for that.
What application materials do most opportunities ask for?
Most application will ask you for your
- Artist/Personal Statement
- Project Proposal
- Budgets and Timelines
- Letters of Recomendation