Where to start?
Every grant begins with a plan in mind, at least that is how it is supposed to work. If you know me, that is not really how I operate. My best grant work has always begun with the Idea of what equipment do I need and how can I fund it? I know it is a little backwards but so far it has worked. I am an artist with the attention span of a 4 year old. In the short term it works, but. I frequently find myself losing interest in what I start then move onto something else that interest me at the moment. I am often totally disorganized, unless I have decided to go full bore into a grant project. (so far so good)
After taking inventory of my needs to upgrade my equipment or consider what I am lacking then I begin the application process. This process takes into account what would be the best us of the equipment in application.
Years ago I needed to upgrade my camera, I wrote a grant that would cover the cost of a Nikon D810. I came up with a plan to show how this camera would elevate my work into a new dimension. Looking back that was the easy part. I needed to demonstrate that this camera would be put to good use.
This was the birth of "The Abandoned Farms Of Isanti County Project." If you have not followed my work, this was a year long project where set out to explore the abandoned farmsteads
that once housed the first generation Scandinavians and Germans in my rural county. It was not a "Barn" project, but a project that researched and photographed the dilapidated farm homes and structures. Thanks to support from a large number of community members, this project was beyond successful.
In rural areas art is not always understood. Case in point: I contacted a farmer who purchased land that happened to have an old abandoned house on it. I knocked on his door, (BTW, permission was given for all farm exploration) explained the project, Signed a release of liability waiver and was giving a set of house keys, and the kind words "Im not sure what you think you'll find with that old house, but keep the keys for a month and return them to me when done. I did so and ended up with a print that took "Third Place" in the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition.
When this grant project opened, there was a line of residents waiting to view this project. My Local Minnesota State Representative attended along with generations of Farmers. During opening night, I observed tears, laughter and a community that came together for the sake of memories and great art.
Yes, it is true, I received a new High End Full Frame camera, but printing, framing and travel expenses came out of my pocket. It was almost near the cost of a "Free" grant funded camera.
Later, I continued to work to be better. I wrote another grant that landed me in Montana working with an internationally known fine art photographer whom has become my mentor and friend. After a two week intensive 1:1 instruction, I retuned home to order a Large format printer and a huge learning curve.
March 1, ,2022, I began my fifth grant funded project. This one was different as it is a state of Minnesota grant, where my past grants have been funded by my regional arts council. I owe much to this organization. They believed in my artistic success long before I did.
My new project is to create in Black and White, high end fine arts portraits in the style of my friend and mentor Bob who has agreed to take me back as a student to learn the framing process, using a whole different framing system then I m used to,
I have proven to my self that if I have a project-Grant Funded, with deadlines, I can be very successful in all elements, project, drive and organization.
Life is a learning curve and I am ready to learn again.