I wanted to give an insight of my honest insecurities and the process in applying for this grant. If it helps another artist then it’s worth it.
Since graduating I have always struggled to call myself an Artist. I felt the need to have a label, to fit in. And where on this vast spectrum of a title do I fit? Am I a graphic designer (my degree) a designer, a printmaker, a maker, a maker of Crafts
– To have an answer when someone at those dreaded network events asks you – “So what do you do?” (and yes I can paint but I choose not to)
Comparing myself to others has always been my debasement. Do I have the right to call myself an ‘Artist’
After my husband recovered from a sudden life threatening illness in 2016 (Thank you wonderful NHS!) I had that ‘seize the day moment’ a period of reflection on my life and where it was going.
It’s now or never, make or break time – what is it I want to DO?
I want to pursue my passion for Letterpress printing and its conservation.
I’d spent the last six years in my studio not really pushing my craft, not having the belief in my ability to share my skills through workshops and tuition which was the whole point of my application. I want to be the best I can and pass on this traditional skill to the next generation so it is not lost forever.
This period of awakening coincided with the start of a course of CBT Counseling with Talk Liverpool that I had been waiting for due to a period of depression and anxiety. My history of coping with mental illness would make another blog but was interested to read…
Over the years I’d had various counseling but this was my first offer of CBT My counselor admitted to not knowing anything about art so it was refreshing and useful to step outside my artistic bubble and break down how I describe my working process. It enabled me to dissect and think logically and realistically about my next steps.
Another of the reasons I had not applied for any funding before was my thinking I lacked the language to communicate what I wanted to do and why I do it. To engage people with my art (through describing and teaching) not alienate them but if I wanted to pursue any type of funding I always felt pressure to use this ‘art speak’. I suppose the same reason I found it difficult to write my artists statement.
We discussed my application in depth for a few weeks and I told her in my own honest way just why I wanted to explore my interest in the subject.
My counselor and I wrote notes, keywords and insights during our discussions – and there it was, my application, in the end, very last minute and still slightly unsure of it’s aims but it was there and when I pressed SEND – not a feeling of dread but relief! And I couldn’t wait to tell her at my next session that I had submitted it.
I had done it! My first ever funding application. For me! For me to take TIME and EXPLORE what I love, to jump on a train and visit people to talk about what we love – and then BANG!!
Fear set in. Not fear of failure (which we had discussed in length too – what if?) but fear of SUCCESS. Having to get on a train, on my own, and TALK to people. Will they judge me? Who am I? What do I know? Who do you think YOU are talking to me about this subject? Thankfully we discussed this too and I found it had a name! Imposter Syndrome, and it is very common.
The main thing is I had tackled a major obstacle, a barrier and been given strategies to overcome these feelings when they rise again. So now I waited…