Anonymous said: Can you talk about your experience at the residency stay? Are they financially hard to do?
Residencies are amazing resources for artists. They usually provide you with a studio space, living space, (sometimes) meals, and creative company in an idyllic landscape for a month or more. Some are free, provide a stipend, charge tuition, or offer reduced rates on studio rentals. Not surprisingly, the free residencies are very competitive.
Immediately after graduating from Carnegie Mellon I applied for about twenty residencies. I was rejected from all except one: Vermont Studio Center. VSC is unique in that the application does not require a CV. This was great for me, because I had a very modest resume. But VSC is a non-for-profit organization which charges tuition. For four months preceding my three month residency, I worked as a barista in the mornings, waitress at nights, and babysitter on the weekends to cover the cost.
I saw VSC as an investment because I knew I could build my portfolio with uninterrupted studio time, meet 50 professional artists a month, and the experience would make me more competitive for other (hopefully free) residencies.
Your resume is equally important as the quality of your art in grant and residency applications. I know that doesn’t seem fair, but the judges just want to ensure they’re awarding artists who will use the opportunity seriously, and not just as a free vacation. They also don’t want to invite someone who could be disruptive, so showing that you have past experience living in an isolated art community is reassuring.
My next two residencies, Babayan Culture House (BCH) and Cafe Tissardmine, also charged tuition. The fees are about the same as a month’s rent (although take that with a grain of salt because I’ve lived in NYC). I was a resident at BCH while I was still a Fulbrighter, and my monthly Fulbright stipend covered those fees. I was awarded a grant from the John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund, which allowed me to extend my Fulbright research in Turkey. I had a little left over, so that is covering Cafe Tissardmine.
So now I have a rule: every time I apply for a residency with fees, I apply for a grant that could fund it. Oh, and you probably want to know where I find all this stuff. Knock yourself out at TransArtists.org and ResArtis.org
I just received word that my blog is trending on Tumblr. What an honor! To all of my new followers: Welcome! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you like what you see.
Anonymous said: What is your etsy store called
The store’s name is my name, Missy Dunaway. But it’s not open yet… just five more days before I open shop. I’ll post an announcement and link on Tumblr when I launch.