Apply Yourself

September 30, 2022

Three top tips for artists tackling applications for funding, awards and exhibitions

It’s that time of year when there are lots of funding, exhibition and award opportunities open for applications. Knuckling down to start filling out the forms can feel daunting and it is easier not to do it but doing it is much better than not

I have yet to meet an artist who said they were sorry they applied for an opportunity. I have heard many say that the process is challenging but that challenge always leads to new things learned, skills homed and goals achieved. It’s a win, win.

making applications read the guidelines

Read the guidelines carefully

Make sure you know exactly what is required so that you don’t get disqualified for a simple error.

Think of it this way, an organisation receives hundreds of applications for the opportunity on offer. It’s impossible, the vast majority of the time, to read each one from beginning to end. So, the first thing that will be done is to remove any application that has left out any required information. Even one small omission could result in your brilliant application being dismissed. Pay very close attention then to ensure that you fill out all sections and include all supporting materials.

Don’t let the content requirements put you off

Start making the application and tackle each section one at a time. If you get stuck reach out for help

This is a very important trap to avoid. You won’t know if you can meet the requirements unless you try and you’ll lose nothing by giving it a go. I bet you’ll surprise yourself. Remember that it will be hard work and seek help when you need it.

Get your application in EARLY

This seems daunting, ‘what if I make a mistake’ ‘what if I forget to add something’ Waiting until the last minute doesn’t allow you any time for corrections and also puts you under undue pressure.

Timing is everything here. Avoid leaving making the application too late or too close to the deadline. It’s difficult to know what parts will take the most time or where you will need to assistance of someone else to complete it, particularly with support materials. So give yourself ample time to both complete the application and the deadline for submission.

Each of these tips will give you the best opportunity possible to have your application thoroughly assessed and the best chance of receiving the award. There are a lot of external factors that you can’t control about these things but focusing on what you can control will ensure that you remain proud of what you do and progress in the way that you want.

Good luck!!

About 2020 Curates Creative Careers

2020 Curates Creative Careers provides resources, support and advice for visual artists who want to build successful businesses from their artistic practices. There are a variety of services available including art business mentoring, courses, workshops and art business advice intensives. Click here to learn more about all the options and join our mailing list here for monthly free resources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. […] If you’d like some extra tips on making funding applications you can read my previous blog post on that here […]