So you are a born artist—and a visual artist at that. You have put in the long hours required to master your craft, your artist canvas and your art—the fruit of your skills as a visual artist—but not the money to set up an artist gallery as a stage to showcase your vision for at least a small part of the world. You know firsthand what it means to be a “struggling artist”. But no major struggle is required to learn how to apply for a visual artist grant, as you will see after going over these tips:
- Begin your search online. There are plenty of grants available to artists, especially for visual artists like you if you patiently look them up online. Most websites provide contact information, the requirements and procedure for application of your prospective donor so start looking there. Simply type in the words “visual artist grants” and the like on the search engine of your choice and you will find lots of online resources.
- Know who your prospective donors are. Visual artist grants are usually offered by the government, government institutions, municipalities, artists coalition, corporate sponsors, charitable organizations and non-governmental institutions. Check out the National Endowment for the Arts or the Charity Navigator for information on nation-wide based charities for starters.
- Read the application process carefully and make sure they are up to date. The application processes of these institutions differ. Some are lengthier and more difficult to process than others so it is best to carefully read the information found in their website. It pays to check when the website was last updated. Better yet, personally contact the resource persons for the particular institution as these procedures are often subject to change and their website may not have reflected these changes in procedure and requirements at the time you browsed. The last thing you want is to submit incomplete requirements and get rejected on a technicality.
- Make a checklist of the things you need and steps you need to take. This will facilitate your application and will help make sure you have everything you need to land that coveted visual artist grant. Make a checklist yourself or print out a copy of the checklist provided by your prospective donor.
- Survey your available artwork. Pick out the ones that conform to the specifications of your prospective donor. If you can, look at the art pieces of artists they have sponsored before so you can have an idea of what to include in your selection.
- Visual artist grants usually require a DVD or slides of your work so make sure you submit your selection in the proper format. Sponsorship grants usually ask for a written proposal to convince them why they should pick you. While your art should do most of the talking, never underestimate what a great proposal can do.
- Be prepared to submit your application, the necessary paperwork and other needed materials early. Make it at least a day ahead of the actual deadline to be on the safe side.
After going over the tips found here, you must have realized that the key in learning how to apply for a visual artist grant is knowing where to look and following procedure. While this may be a relatively simple task, the most difficult and frustrating part is actually landing a visual artist grant given these times. But do not lose hope. After all, greatest artists have experienced rejection before making it big.