A lot of work goes into taking part in art and craft events and it begins months before the actual event. You wouldn’t believe how organised we have to be, and its not something that normally springs to mind when you think of artists and craftspeople, as we tend to have a reputation of ‘having our heads in the clouds’.
Its planning, researching, organising and completing the applications and then once you’ve been selected for the event, paying for them.
This is how my year starts…
The first few months each year, I start to plan my year ahead. It involves creating a calendar planner, listing all the weekends from Easter to Xmas and pencilling in potential events, teaching dates, holidays etc.
I begin with a review of the events I’ve done the previous year; looking at which ones worked, which didn’t, which are borderline because they might have been affected by the weather or had other problems and I might have another go. This is followed by researching other events as potential events to apply to and listing all the events on my weekend planner. Sometimes popular weekends might have a clash of multiple events and I have to make a decision of which event might work best for me.
Before I can start applying for events, I choose a selection of photos, from photographs I’ve taken during the previous months / year and I update my 100 word artist statement and artist CV. For some events you only need to send this information once, others you need to complete application forms and send it every time, alongside proof of your public liability insurance and sometimes a Risk Assessment as well.
Application deadlines vary from event to event, some might have deadlines 6-9 months before the event, others maybe 3 months. After applying, then its waiting to see if you’ve got in, then its sorting out paying for them.
April or May, August and September or October I try and keep one or two weekends available for teaching classes and pencil in potential dates on my calendar.
By now my planner is starting to fill up, so I have to make sure I put weekends off and holidays down on it too… otherwise you find your actually going to be working every weekend!