The magical week 13.
I don’t know how magical it is, but it is the thirteenth week that we’ve been working together to reinvigorate your creative career and reignite your artistic spark. Since it’s only six weeks before spring begins, I’ll share some tulips with you to keep your spirit up!
I know the last two weeks have been less about the work and much more about how to get support for your work. I know, I know, the work is more fun and the outreach can feel like a chore. Still, if you want to build an artist career, then some of this work will have to be done.
What do I want?
This would be a good time to ask yourself, “What do I want out of my creative experiences?” If you want to create only and you are unconcerned about sharing your work through publication or in galleries, then I would suggest you stick to creative prompts each day. There are lots of opportunities on the internet to receive daily prompts and inspiration. If you haven’t signed up for a Pinterest account, I suggest you do it. Like-minded folks have done the research for you:
However, if you want to build a career, a name, a following, but mostly a serious practice, you’ll need support from creative groups and you may need financial support. To build a serious practice, one of the best ways is to try for an artist residency.
Artist in Residence.
From Wikipedia, an explanation of artist residency: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist-in-residence
- Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture.
- Some residency programs are incorporated within larger institutions. Other organisations exist solely to support residential exchange programs. Residencies can be a part of museums, universities, galleries, studio spaces, theaters, artist-run spaces, municipalities, governmental offices, and even festivals. They can be seasonal, ongoing, or tied to a particular one-time event. They exist in urban spaces, rural villages, container ships and deep in nature. Hundreds of such opportunities and organisations exist throughout the world.
- There is no single model, and the expectations and requirements vary greatly. The relationship between the resident and the host is often an important aspect of a residency program. Sometimes residents become quite involved in a community – giving presentations, workshops, or collaborating with local artists or the general public. At other times, they are quite secluded, with ample time to focus and investigate their own practice.
- Residency programs utilize a wide range of financial models. In some situations, residents must finance their own stay, finding funding and support from their own countries and networks. There are also residency programs that provide part or all of the required finances to invited guests.
- The application processes also vary widely; not all programs organise an open call for applications. Some opportunities are by invitation only, or are offered through special partnerships with other institutions, funding bodies, or organisations.
- Many times a residency experience is only the beginning of a longer relationship. Residents often return to complete a project they started, to begin a new collaboration, or participate in an exhibition, panel or workshop.
I have applied for a month-long writer’s residency in 2017. I learned so much this past year and a half about how to write a novel – I want to start the next one with that learning in mind and with as few distractions as possible. One month away from daily distractions, immersed in a community of other artists who are working on their next projects, sharing my work with the local community, should help me lay a solid foundation for the first draft of my next novel, “MOTHER.” Wish me luck!
Writer and artist retreats will come at a price. Before you invest in a retreat experience, be sure to fully understand the place, the accommodations, the opportunities that are offered by each facility. There are hundreds of opportunities available through a quick internet search. Don’t forget to explore Artist workshops and Conferences in your area as well.
The learning never ends!
Next week’s topic falls right in line: Building Your Resume.
See you back here next Sunday night!
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