As the evenings draw in it’s a good time to start pondering the next steps for your practice. G4A grant applications submitted soon will bear fruit (if successful) in the New Year and motivate you during the short winter days and the long cold nights.
Maybe it’s because the evening light is still hanging on that the funding situation feels a little bit less challenging this year, more hopeful, more glass half-full than half-empty. In the art sector we’ve had a few years of dragging ourselves along with persistence and developing strategies for resilience.
So, how can you do your best to see the light at the end of the tunnel to welcome the New Year in?
Mentoring is a good way to build confidence, earn new skills and get some help in untangling what you think you need from what you think you want.
For two years I have been mentoring artists for many reasons. I have done so before then and also supported artist-led groups through formal schemes. Some artists simply what a critical friend – others want feedback, support and a friendly ear. You may want to make changes in your work, or begin to think about extending studies, or work towards a project that is a little more ambitious than anything you have ever done before.
Professional development when you are freelance may seem like a luxury, but often it’s the best investment you can make. When I support artists to make funding applications, I also help them learn to do it themselves in the future. I can advise on project management, health and safety, partnership building, budget management, websites, writing and blogging and many other things.
If you are experienced at applying for funding, you may decide to apply for a small grant for professional development support, maybe alongside other training needs, or as part of a project that is stretching you a little. If you are not ready yet to do funding applications but need help to develop a project framework and plan possible partners, I can help. Big or small projects – planning is easier when you have someone to plan with.
I enjoy mentoring so have decided to make space in my other work for 4 mentees this coming year. I am busy with delivering projects, writing professionally and planning new project myself. If you think this could be helpful, drop me an email and we can have a (free) 15 minute phone conversation to discuss what you might benefit from having help on.
Here are a few bits of feedback from last years mentees, who were a delight to work with:
“In a short time, Carolyn was able to offer some comments and ways to improve my practice”
“Refreshing to have feedback from an informed, outside source: it cuts through everyday practice and ways of seeing”
“Working with Carolyn was a true partnership: complementary skills, hard work and a drive to realise my project in the best way possible.”