Thank you for your application to (a really cool thing that you've been dreaming of) at (a prestigious organization that would be great for your career). After careful review by the adjudication team we are unfortunately unable to offer you a place on the Program. We were once again astounded by the caliber of applications making the decision incredibly difficult. We strongly encourage you to continue your learning journey and hope to see an application from you again in the future.
It's worse than a rollercoaster, isn't it?
Recently, I heard that my application to a Banff Centre residency was not accepted. I had been... confident. I had seen myself there so clearly. I feel like I've made huge strides in my creative practice in the last couple years. My project proposal was for something that I'm really excited about. Last night I was up past midnight working on the math for the layout of the thing, which is hypothetically the most boring part of the process, but I was in a flow state, with ideas pouring in. And yet.
I have many feelings about grant and residency applications. For a long time I told myself that how I worked caused me to fall into the gaps between granting categories (not an individual artist, not a collective, not a publisher). Because of this, I have definitely focused on making other aspects of my practice financially viable. Also, someone I really trust and admire once told me that the people who get these opportunities are the people who apply for everything. Objectively, I probably don't apply to enought things.
Over the last few years (remember, it's been covid times) I have focused on applying for markets and art & craft fairs. Many of these applications have been both competitive and sucessful but they feel less professionally prestigious. You don't put art & craft fairs on your CV. My business coaching group reminded me that maybe I'm not writing the right kind of CV.
I don't think these musings and justifications are hugely helpful (except for that last one).
But I've had an idea.
I'm going to mimic the bits of the residency that I can. For one month, I'm going to focus on the project in my pitch. Part of the concept was to visit the Fairmont Banff Springs, but there is a Fairmont here in Edmonton. I was going to go to the library and look at bookarts. I can do that here through the UofA and MacEwan collections. I was going to meet and talk art with cool, international artists. I can meet with local artists and expand my horizons.
I'll dress creatively and cozy.
I'll make some really good studio playlists.
I'll go for hikes in the river valley--there are no mountains, but still.
I'll have fancy sunday coffee with my partner instead of not seeing him for a month.
I will have much better access to last-minute art supplies.
I will treat my regular life like the incredible opporunity that it is.
Please feel free to join me <3