How to avoid the classic "starving artist" syndrome?
Follow the money.
But keep in mind that not all art funding is created equal. Requirements, submission rules -- and, of course, the money -- will vary with each organization.
Grants can be targeted to college students to help pay for their education. Some may be geared exclusively for women artists or to a specific ethnic community or age group. One in particular, Creative Capital, only funds artists for work that they deem "represents groundbreaking projects”.
Rule of thumb? "If you don't qualify, don't apply."
Once you find the perfect fit, funding for your work all begins with writing the grant proposal. Some artists are both skilled in writing and painting, while some are not. If you fit in the latter category, find someone who is skilled in the art of writing proposals. Make it short and to the point, and keep the usual art jargon to a minimum.
It goes without saying that you should also enclose slides or photographs of your best work, and focus their attention on work samples that relate to your project or proposal.
Above all, enthuse your audience with the same excitment that your feel for your work. Like any advertising campaign, you're selling yourself and your work to a demographic. Often, grant committee members are made up of professional artists, well-heeled donors, and civic community leaders.
Sell your idea to everyone (like you were explaining your work to your Aunt Bessie) and you'll have your best shot at gaining a bit of fame and fortune for your next art project.
More about art grants and funding around the Web:
Around the Web, discover opportunities for modern artists with
facts and expert guides to grants, funding, residencies, and more
information about what makes the art world go 'round ...
and Culture Grants - Foundations and organizations granting
funds to individuals and organizations throughout the U.S. and
Arts Council UK - Grants for the Arts - A complete how-to including a brief video, information on the application process, feedback for unsuccessful candidates, as well as case studies on those who have worked successfully to have funds awarded for their art project.
- Grants - On Australian awards, grants, and
other funding courtesy of the National Association of Visual Arts
with application and information forms for the Marketing Grant
for NSW Artists; the Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship
for Emerging Artists; the Australian Visual Artists' Benevolent
Fund; and The Windmill Trust Scholarship for NSW Regional Artists;
in downloadable PDF format.