How to Create a Great Application

welcome to starry night programs video on how to create a great application it’s part of our what artists need to succeed series and we’re going to talk about what we’re looking for in an application and what a lot of organizations are looking for when they review your application so I hope this helps you to submit really strong applications to lots of opportunities and exposure programs and residency programs whether they’re ours or not I think what we’re going to cover here is really standard and I would say most of the applications that I’ve ever seen no matter what organization I was a panelist for and I was reviewing it for so Who am I I’m Monica profit I’m the founder of starry night programs founded starry night in 2011 and before that I worked as an arts administrator and curator and executive director for other organizations a project manager handled a lot of things and this is just a smattering of the various organizations that I worked with partnered with had a show of my own work in was funded by curated a show in worked for and partnered with in some way to put on a show or spoke at afit or it was invited to speak I will soon be speaking at Texas Tech University I’ve also been funded by a couple of these organizations for public art commissions so I’ve seen a lot of applications i reviewed applications for a lot of these organizations as well as my own and I’ve submitted obligations to almost all these organizations for one thing or another so I’ve seen both sides of it and i’ve reviewed thousands of applications for lots of cultural organizations whether they’re on the county state or city or you know independent kind of realm so that’s me in a nutshell and I hope that what I’ve learned over the years is going to help you so it will how it helped me was that it’s funded some of my projects here are projects of mine going back to as far as 2004 that I’ve gotten some kind of funding and grant granting for so whether it was space and bunny or usually it’s it’s money but sometimes it’s just in space itself or being a part of a larger group show these are all solo shows that I’ve gotten funding for as a working artist myself so I’ve been on both sides of it and I’ve benefited from this knowledge and I really hope that you guys can benefit from it too so the starry night residency program is one place where you can submit an application you can see at the bottom that’s our URL starry night retreat calm / residency’s and that’s just a picture of our courtyard and some artists hanging out over there on the side and I love this program I think it’s fantastic and we accept applications on a quarterly basis so that you can’t miss a deadline and have to wait a year just seem like we could make that more accessible so we did this is the starry night exposure program which was the second program that we sort of launched at starry night and it’s for exhibitions and really exclusive art fairs where visual artists wouldn’t necessarily have access if they hadn’t already been picked up by a gallery which creates a chicken and an egg problem i’m sure a lot of you are familiar with you can’t get into the big places without being in a gallery but you can’t get seen by a gallery without being in the big places so we created the exposure program and we’re accepting applications there and that’s the application we’re going to be using as an example because it’s slightly more complicated than our residency application so if you’re looking to go to New York Miami Los Angeles or soon Venice you can fill out this application or just go through it with us and use it as an example so you can leverage that knowledge into all kinds of other applications you can apply for so here’s the exposure application the URL at the top is where you can find the application online and it’s not downloadable you do it in in the actual interface so if you want to be really careful about maybe your internet connection is going to go down or maybe something’s going to happen that can you know get between that being uploaded properly you want to make sure that these things in blue down below your resume your artist statement your image and images and your description sheet they’re all accessible on your hard drive and your copy pasting we’re not whenever possible the images are going to upload but the rest of it make sure you’ve got that information not directly typed in plus when you directly type it in you’re so increasing your chances for a typo and typos just make you look stupider than you are I know because I’m really good at typos if you’ve ever received an email from me you know typos are kind of my favorite and i don’t i don’t like that about myself but it’s something that we all I think especially as visual artists need to be really aware of so we’re going to be asking for those four

main things your resume your artist statement your images in a specific format and your description sheet now you also want to make sure you read the directions as to what pieces are even going to be considered and in this case your pieces cannot be larger than 28 inches for visual art so you need to keep that in mind so you don’t even go bother to go through this process unless you you have pieces that will fit the requirements so we’re going to start with your artists resume here’s a good template and there are so many wonderful books as resources not everybody’s up for you know plotting through another book when they are out of school but I have found these to be really helpful there’s a few that are just my go-to favorites the artist guide by Jackie battenfield and artwork by Heather Darcy bhandari and Jonathan Melbourne are two amazing ones arts fire just came out with one called the profitable artists and that kind of covers visual arts performing literary it’s really in depth and i love the artist guide to public art um and who wrote that it was someone Bossa Mary oh ma lin vasa that’s who I’m just a wonderful wonderful guides but if you’re not up for a book hopefully report some of the best of what we’ve ever found and seen and we can tell you so this whether you have letterhead at the top or not you can just put your name in a nice font it’s fine but it’s good to put these things in as much order as you can in this type of a format because it’s really easy for a panelist to look at it quickly you have to understand panelists are going to probably be reviewing between 50 and 500 applications when they review yours so you don’t want to stick out for any bad reason because it’s really easy and tempt it’s a panelist to go up problem done out you’re just to reject it so use this template come back to this screen shot if you need to this is actually just directly from a program that we have that we’re just about to launch for the art school program artist resources and tools and we put this together and we’re just giving it away now to hopefully help you here but you know looking at your education first having the Year really simply displayed on the left side now it doesn’t mean that having not a lot of things on your resume looks terrible if you have hardly anything to put on your resume you could put something that’s a small description of a project to fill in some of that negative space if you haven’t gotten maybe a master’s degree or even a bachelor of fine arts you need to put in whatever you have gotten or if there’s no study at all or if there’s just been a smattering of workshop so you can put that move it to the bottom as additional study or just general studies or education in general and you can just put kind of a collection of what you where you’ve where you’ve taken classes selected exhibitions now we put it that way because some people have had solo shows some people have not you want to put your solo shows at the top your group shows at the bottom if you can and usually in chronological order publications not everyone’s had one we have a few publication opportunities for artists and as if you can find publication opportunities always go for it because it’s great to start populating that part of your resume next is writing your artist statement and there are sort of five ways to make your artist statement really shine to a panelist and want us to keep it simple you know stick to the basics make logical transitions between your paragraphs have between three and five paragraphs I’d say five is actually almost too many unless they’re very concise paragraphs if your panelists and you just see oh my god this is so much content first of all the person might look a little vain or just verbose and you don’t need to look that way if you just keep it concise leave out the fluff whenever you’re rereading something that you’re going to submit think about if there is another way to say that that is quicker more to the point more clear clarity is huge and if you can’t get it clearly do your best job as possible and have a loved one or someone who cares about you help you because this is really important you need to know your destination before you embark so before you write your seat when you’ve got to know its purpose and in this case its purpose is to get across that you’re an awesome artist as fast and as clearly as possible that your work is strong that you think clearly you’re not going to name drop and use obscure knowledge you’re not there to tell people how to think or feel that is not going to work and it’s not an opportunity to just sort of navel gaze and review your life history you need to just be very clear about what your artist statement like what your work is really about as quickly as possible now maybe you don’t even know what it’s about and you should start asking people what do you think my work is about and see what resonates with you what am i doing how am i doing it and why am i doing it are the three most important things in fact those could be the ways that you start to tackle your three paragraphs and your three paragraphs please don’t make them more than like three to five sentences long even a paragraph that has two quick sentences if they are really

well-crafted and they’re really to the point that’s a great wrap up right there so you know I can’t stress it enough being brief it can be really a powerful thing so write it in the first person make it somewhat conversational without sounding like you just don’t care but you don’t need to have hyper you know academic speak in your artist statement in fact how many how many of those do you see in exhibitions that you go to in well rep in reputable places yeah maybe an exhibition in a very academic environment is going to require that but when you think about where you’re actually going to want to show your work again go knowing your destination you speak to that audience and typically to be concise you want to write in the first person and in everyday English and let your freak flag fly in the sense that if you have really violent work if you have really somber work let that come through when you’re writing at least somewhat and again if you don’t really have the written word mastered bring this up show this to somebody and say you know to someone who you who you admire and who you think can write better than you can and say hey could you take a look at my work and see if it hits these main points if not could you just edit the crap out of it for me I asked people to do that all the time your images are so important so yes you know a panelist has to see a resume where you’ve been and and maybe where you’re hopefully headed or we’ve not been and they want to see how you talk about your work what you’re making but they want to see the work you know that’s almost like when you’re reviewing applications for a week at a time it is wonderful the day that you get to the images because everybody loves the picture the pictures it’s it’s like a break for the for the mind so when we’re looking at images we want to make sure that they’re really large because if you some opportunities such as the exposure program if you get in you’re automatically included in a publication and that means you have to have not only images that work well if they’re seen on a screen or throw projector but they have to work well in the printed format which means they have to have a certain DPI and we’ll go into that so here’s your images for us we require that you need to give us a link to your Dropbox folder box folder or a zip file of your images now here’s the problem if your Dropbox folder link is dead you can have a great resume you can nail your statement but if your Dropbox folder link is dead we’re not here to hold your hand to make sure we get another one from you maybe if someone really knows you on the inside of an opportunity and says I’ve just got to give them you know help this artist along shore but hand-holding is is not very common and that’s because the amount of resources that there are and the amount of pressure and an artist’s trying to apply for those limited resources is incredible so anything like this is a great excuse for someone to throw your resume or your application out and call it one less thing to have to dive into so be sure your stuff works test it out with someone else send your zip file to your front first make sure they can open it and download it no send your dropbox link to someone make sure they can open it and download it share it around and also make sure the a you really fulfill the requirements of the images in this case you need to have a description list and name your images accordingly so someone what image they’re looking at for what piece of work now here is exactly how you get high resolution images go into Photoshop one way or another do image size and you can see here I took this image from the cover of one of our books the best year ever it’s a workbook for artists to set their goals and really kind of stay on track with their careers it’s a simple workbook we put together this basic you know cover we had to make sure it was printable and it is downloadable as well as in print and so it had to have a 300 DPI resolution we changed that and that made it change these pixel height them with now you want to see if 164 six 76.4 or whatever these image sizes and all these sort of things you want to make sure that’s not too big it’s going to crash everything and for emailing it right but you do need to make sure you have your resolution down and that you have then you adjust your width and height so that things will actually be mailable but they fit the requirements of the resolution oops so then we have images that sing this is our description she sort of guide and this is what a description sheet what we were asking for and what many places are asking for when they ask to see your your your work so you can have a great resume a great statement wonderful glorious images but if we don’t know if we’re looking at something the size of a thumb or the size of a truck it’s not good work beautiful images just kind of sit there if they’re not well explained and this is a very simple way of explaining it now you don’t have to always include a thumbnail if you don’t want to you can

title the image so this is the image name meaning the actual name of that JPEG that you that you submitted what 01 underscore last name is a great standard to use it means that nothing is going to get lost and miss associated from your application you don’t know administrative Lee what people are doing so if you name your images with the number and the underscore last name you’re in great shape it also just looks professional you want to title it so that just because it’s your underscore great last name the title is this great painting the year the media great whether you see a thumbnail of that or not we can we can associate that by the image name oh but we look here the dimensions are 36 inches by 48 inches well that was nice but guess what we got all the way through your application we wasted all of this time because we’re not accepting any pieces over 28 inches so thanks for nothing you just wasted your time and ours if you didn’t read the directions well so this is where reading those directions knowing what you’re actually submitting making sure that’s what they’re actually asking for and then you describe it well that is that’s just head and shoulders above a lot of your competition so we asked for a head shot and a lot of people just really don’t like that but we have found that people want to know who is making the work that they love and if it’s not for an exhibition like the exposure program and the artist isn’t able to actually attend we want to include a headshot and where do we include a headshot in all of our portfolio printed portfolios and in our artists look out for books so artists to look out for is one of our publication opportunities for artists and we require of course high-resolution images and you can see we weave features some people on the cover and then we have about a hundred next year is going to be one to two hundred artists in our artists to look out for it’s a free opportunity anyone can be a part of it it’s free to apply and so I hope that you check out starry night retreat com /a LF and we’re going to be opening up applications soon and we’re going to be putting the volume volume 2 out at the end of the year and all exposure artists are I asked to have high resolution images because they’re automatically included in the artist to look out for look this is another place where we pull from that so of those people that make it into the book we pull from there the very best of the best and we put them in our best year ever workbook so this is our once a year workbook that we slip we update and slowly refine every year for artists to kind of work with and set their goals fill out and track their own progress throughout the year it’s got a lot of great information and resources and it’s designed to help artists set their goals and stay on track so check that if you like at starry night retreat calm best year ever and if you ever submit application application for exposure program you’ve got a chance to be in this as well again completely free opportunity and I can’t stress this enough to start with what you’ve got and start with where you are if you can see this was starry night in 2005 2010 when it was under construction war and I was putting in all the landscaping I did that myself and 2015 after a lot of work and you just got to start with what you have you know not everyone is born rich not everyone is born successful and connected but you just keep working you’re going to get there and you’ve got to start with where you were you wherever you are so if you don’t have a lot of things on your resume don’t worry about it it’s still worth trying you’ve got to keep applying if you don’t have a great statement keep working on it keep trying when you get rejected from an opportunity follow up and say hey i noticed that i didn’t get that i really appreciate you taking the time to review it could you please let me know if there’s any constructive criticism that the panelists wrote down and that they could share with me i would really appreciate knowing what i could do better next time it makes you look so professional and earnest and driven and that’s what every artist really needs to be now I don’t know why else you are you know you’re here except to get kind of information on how to make a good application but if you want more things like this we have a program that we’re opening up called the art program the artists resources and tools all of those guides that we went over before are straight out of there and it’s opening up basically starting early bird registration is now through April first and you can learn how to make your portfolio standout get more things like this how to get a grant how to talk about your work how to make a gorgeous website whether it’s for selling directly or if it’s just for exhibiting and showing off your work knowing that difference handling your sales and having all of your paperwork templates done all of your different contracts at least the templates for it started for you so those conversations are easy ways to build your network whether that’s in person or online

and deal with your nerves when you’re dealing with your shows so we’ve got the nuts and bolts of all the things you need for a show as well so it’s one online course about two hours a week ish but it goes for six weeks and it stays open forever you have lifetime access so you can continue to go back to it and use it for as long as you like and you can find out more at starry night retreat calm / art what we cover is the big picture how you get clear on your purpose and defining your mission as an artist we bring into focus if why you’ve chosen this path help you to value yourself as an artist in a real cultural voice and really the point of this whole part of it is is to help you get clear and stay in the game because this is not a sprint it is a marathon and it takes courage as Henri Matisse said you know creativity takes courage we talked about your portfolio as you can see that was what we pulled a lot of the information in this video out of so you’ve seen a little bit of what’s in there not really all of it and we’re going to have not only videos but also webinars audio recordings to listen to while you’re in the studio and a lot of printable material so you can download and do all of the workbook stuff we’re going to talk about building your website so you get the results that you want you determine what results you want how do you can organize your online gallery how you can learn to make things work and learn be ahead of time what really does not work and which which platform is going to work for you for the least amount of money and so you can professionally write your content and stop looking like an emerging artists even if you still are an emerging artists which so many of us will be for so long and also how to do SEO and get searchable so that when people look for you you can have a really common name but you can still hit at the top of that search if you know how we also talked about networking and social media to expand your network and pack your shows with the right people how to present yourself but front of the right people like a serious artist and how to really get ahead of when you’re in front of people so that your social media strategies don’t make you look like a food pornographer I think it’s important stay in touch with collectors and viewers without seeming like a pushy jerk and we have templates for your emails and all of your promotions so you don’t have to come up with all that content yourself it’s not rocket science it just is information that should be shared and there’s no reason why someone who went to a prestigious school where they covered this and someone who didn’t should automatically have the the way ahead and that’s just ridiculous I didn’t get an expensive undergraduate degree and I hope you know no one else had to either and you don’t have to even if you did you don’t have to go get expensive graduate training to be able to learn these things we’re going to talk about the nuts and bolts of shells selling your work so your shows are very successful so you know how to leverage a group show into a solo show and get that confidence that you need let you show your work outside of your comfort zone the exposure program is designed for people who want to show outside their region and you can figure out what kind of things you need to invest in to leverage your your career forward the fastest so there’s turnkey templates to be able to handle everything that you’ll need when you’re showing whether it’s wall abels mailing lists how to follow up in an email everything that you need for that or how to introduce something into your mailing into your like a newsletter to your mailing list so that they know that you’re having a show we also talked about just key relationships that you need where to find people that are actually true supporters of the Arts and how to cultivate those powerful people as part of your network and how to confidently talk with them and not stumble over your words or look like you’re out of your league how to kind of fake it till you make it and even when you’re making it how to keep going from there so how to talk about your work succinctly learn how to give and become valuable it’s very important to figure out how you’re going to engage people not as a desperate person you’re not desperate you have a lot to give and identifying that and learning how to engage people as a giver is really important because it makes you look powerful in and of yourself and power attracts power so art school is 499 if you enroll before April first that’s half almost half off of our normal price and it’s only for artists who basically see this video or a couple of other things before April first and then closing early bird registration art school starts on june first so right after graduation we’re going to just jump into this but it doesn’t have to go then you can always get access have access and go to it whenever you want to you’ll have lifetime access to everything in there all the videos all the audio all the downloadables everything that we have and it will be growing as as the community members ask more questions and we realize there’s other pieces to put in so it’s going to be evolving this whole time you can get on the early bird registration by going to start night retreat calm / art /

early bird or just email us at info at starry night retreat calm if you have any questions whether it’s about this video about applications about art school about the exposure program we’re kind of that’s the go to email at starry night and here’s just a covering of all of the different URLs that we included in this so you can find us on facebook as well and twitter and instagram and that’s our stuff so i hope that this was helpful to you and i hope that you apply to all of the great things that you know are going to make your career be what you want it to me there’s no time like the present alright thanks for watching