As the RA Summer Exhibition opened for submissions, this was the purpose of the SANE Creative Awards scheme funding – to cover the economic barrier that is entry fees, shipping costs and any travel to London for the RA Summer Exhibition.

I have submitted one of the Monaco paintings, titled Cryptomonkey, and am now considering options. Obviously, if it’s accepted, and there isn’t really any particular reason why it shouldn’t be, then I will use more of the funding as intended. If it isn’t, then I’m considering using the funding for materials to create more work.

I’m concerned that the SANE awards funding will become swallowed up in other bills and overdraft fees before I get the chance to make the best use of it.

I’m still receiving Working Tax Credits, however, since my youngest son’s work hours increased some time ago, there has been a significant drop in income – I’ve calculated that if I were to impoverish myself for five weeks and transfer to Universal Credit, I’d receive an additional £300+ per month.

It’s an impossible choice to make, as I still fundamentally disagree with the five week wait for income, especially for #ExcludedUK artists.

I applied for the Author’s Contingency Fund, and was awarded a grant, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about “eligibility criteria”.

I’ve lost income as an illustrator, as I was running workshops until lockdown, and I have not been in a position to restart them.

But recently, I received an invoice from City of Lincoln Council for a “Housing Benefit Overpayment”.

Yet another unfair economic punishment, which I am having to waste time challenging, instead of creating work.



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