Viewing single post of blog twelve in fourteen

today is the day …. sadly not for bears and picnics but for me to count up all the opportunities that i made contact with.  i set myself the goal of applying to 12 and imaginatively used this in the title of the blog.

i knew by somewhere mid year that i’d made 12 and pushed on to see how many i could make in total.

in making this reflective post i think i am trying to answer the question:

is it worth my while applying to opportunities and in making the submissions does it make me a better artist. does it make me an artist?

in amougst the external opportunities i made two for myself.  i wonder if i could have made more?

i have this morning counted up all the opportuities i connected with.  it was 18.

here is the list of all 18 :

28 Jan digital residency quad
17 Feb go and see a-n successful
20 Feb residency art house Wakefield
20 Feb borderland exhibition Italy – didn’t take further due to 100 euro submission fee
21 Feb eco centre spring fair succesful
24 Feb donations box north mill successful
27 Feb art angel open
20 march k film for transition Belper successful. Project has evolved and is still on going, currently is cup of tea challenge in development phase
15 April expression of this interest to high peak arts
9 may expression of interest to Buxton opera house
16 may submission to Kerry baldry’s one minute video volume 8
29 may expression of interest in programming opportunity in Berlin
28 august expression of interest sent to forest school opportunity
01 September expression of interest in a-n the musical successful
01 October submit to Nottingham castle open
31 October submission to site gallery for residency
23 November submission made to 2020 gallery cork
05 December submission made to pause exhibition


questions i need to ask myself now are :

how many did i apply to?

how many were succesful?

what’s my success rate expressed as a percentage?

how many opportunities were succesful because of word of mouth?


so i know i applied to 18.

4 were succesful

my success rate is 22%

i’d say 3 were succesful because of word of mouth.


i now have a question for myself. if i had not set myself a task to make so many in a year, would i have made so many.  i can’t answer that.

however looking forward will i put so much time into applying knowing how low my succes rate is and actally of my success, 75% of it was due to word of mouth.

does my low success rate define me as a poor artist? financially : yes.  culturally i don’t know if there is a possible answer.  i am the only person who can say if my quality is poor, or my cultural input is poor.  for everyone else my position is a definition based on their own circumstances. i’m part of that too for other people.


as i compiled the list of the submissions i was amazed at the variety of submission.  i think it’s weakness in my practice but very much a part of me.


there is good evidence that i am not making a living from my practice. however there is also evidence that over 70% of exhibiting artists in public galleries aren’t either.  so where does that leave me?

finciacially i’m on the same footing as 70 (was the actual figure 71%?) of the practicing artists currently in the uk. their work has been deemed suitable to be seen by those in a positon to make that choice.

one of the recent applications replied saying if i’d like to know more about the descion to make contact.  i’ve written back asking for some feedback about the total number of submissions and the number of succesful ones.  i also invited some feedback with  “don’t be polite”  included.  if my submissions are poor i’d really like to know why in the opinion of the selector my submission was poor.  if there is a recurring pattern i would be able to do something to improve.  as a collection of people the art world seems to struggle to help those trying to find their way.


maybe i’m missing the point ……  if i’m trying to find my way, i’m too lost. however we all supposidly have a practice in which we strive to find our way …


i’m pleased with myself for attempting this blog and i’m so looking forward to rounding it off, having a break over christmas and coming back with a slightly more informed position about my relationship to the artistic opportunity.
in reviewing the post before publishing i note that of the opportunities one is still ongoing. the work with transition belper has evolved quite a way from the original idea of a k film. in that journey i have proposed a project outline that has been agreed and to get the ball rolling so to speak have started to work specifically on the cup of tea challenge.


if i take this as another sucessful opportunity the figures become this:

applied to 18

succesful 5

success percentage 28%

word of mouth success rate 80%


i feel cheered within myself.


footnote #2

i’m interested in how i can maximise the opportunities i make for myself.  i have some questions …. lots of questions ….

also what’s the difference between an on going work and an opportunity ?

where does opportunity sit within my practice?


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