I spent today preparing an application for an Artist's Residency programme.
The putting together of ideas and proposals is time consuming. I don't get a lot of practice at it either, as I don't often hear about these type of programmes. It is the lack of interaction with other artists again. We miss the old 'Art Bulletin' that the defuct Artist Association provided. The lack of communication between artists and arts organisations is a problem. It can be difficult to get on everyones databases, and even if you do, getting left on it during updates, or getting included in mailings/notices is still hit and miss.
However, I'm happy with my proposal, now I just need to collate the supporting images, organise my referees and ensure the application arrives before the deadline on Friday. If I am lucky enough to be considered it will be great, as it will ensure my financial viability for another few years. It is hard to be creative while looking at negative equity, and not knowing if your rent payment will clear the bank. These programmes are the equivalet of the old style art patron, where a commission would allow an artist to live for a year or two. These days art patrons seem to want to buy Art cheaply, while still expecting massive gains in value. The general public expect Artists to starve for their art....Van Gogh did....they forget the Rembrandts, the DaVinchis, Stubbs, Turner etc. who lived quite comfortably and sold their work for more than the average years wage. If you go to study law, business, medicine or in fact most things at third level you can expect to earn a good income or be paid a good fee for services rendered...study art and you can expect to starve..or work elsewhere and try to steal the occaisional hours to paint or whatever.
I am lucky, in that my income is not neccessary for my families survival, therefor I can paint full time. The lack of appreciation though still rankles. I am a professional Artist...I want to be seen as a professional, not as some sort of wastrel, dabbling away for my love of painting. I do love my painting, but I shouldn't have to scrimp and save, or be carried financially to continue doing what I do. Culture, unlike history, needs constant upgrading, but it is as important to our heritage as our history yet we ignore those that provide it. Profit is todays god, value is seen as how cheap something can be obtained, quality is ignored. Today's throw away society is in danger of discarding heritage and culture with the other broken worn out possessions.
The Art's with the exeption of a minority (successful singers/songwriters and novelists) are falling further behind.
...Theatres that need constant bailing out if they don't produce "commercial popular" theatre. Playwrights and writers have to look at whats popular rather than relevant. We the visual artist's either have to work outside the arts or produce quick commercial work, be it design or interior decor rather than art..will lead to an artistic and cultural wasteland.