Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Grants Game, Part 3 - Superstition

Time . . . Enough

Roy from Blade Runner.
That guy never forgets his deadlines.

If you're an artist looking for grant funding, Seattle is a pretty great place to be.  We likely have more grant sources for individual creators than almost anywhere else in the United States.

That also means more deadlines.  Today I completed an application to an agency called Artist Trust for their GAP (Grants for Artists Projects) fund. 

I'm not usually one to finish an application on the day it's due.  I keep this very exacting spreadsheet of deadlines--for anthologies, grants, whatever needs hitting--and I try to get things done ahead of time.  Especially for grants.  Even on a fairly easy application I schedule a minimum of 8 hours to complete it.  EIGHT.  Because, for me, it's not writing the narrative that gets me.  It's the time it takes to format files and upload them that is the killer.

If you are submitting 10 pages of comics, and maybe you have them in a PDF at 600 dpi for printing.  But the granting agency wants them in individual JPGs at 72 dpi but at a minimum of 1920 dpi on the long edge but with a file size no larger than 5 mb.  MATH!  My arch enemy.  This is exactly what I was up against today.  Then actually uploading and labeling the files is taking the grantmaker's online system forever.  Then I'm standing in the rain like Rutger Hauer, gripping my hand and pleading with the universe for more time.
Clocking in at a mere 4.7 MB!

Very Superstitious

Ah well, I did get everything uploaded and the submission is in.  

I had the exact same problem uploading files for the City Artist grant I submitted earlier this year.  I wasn't this hard up against the deadline, but I was having plenty of trouble with their online grants submission site.  I was cursing the screen while I watched the spinning beach ball of doom that is Macintosh telling me that it's processing something.  And I was listening to an album that I consider part of the soundtrack to my graphic novel - So Tonight That I May See by Mazzy Star.

The album hit it's last song and I got panicky.  "If my files aren't uploaded by the end of the album, I won't get the grant!" THAT is what my brain suddenly decided to throw at me.  It makes no sense.  I have no idea where it came from.  I tried to tell myself it was ridiculous.  But I was still deeply relieved when the uploads finished before the final strains of the song.

Even when I was grantwriting for agencies, everyone had rituals and superstitions.  There were grant dances.  Laying of the hands on the outgoing paper proposal.  Always the constant race to the post office.  (At least THAT part has been eliminated by online submissions)

It's Only Weird If It Doesn't Work

I'm not a huge sports fan, but when the Seattle Seahawks went to the Superbowl, they ran an ad campaign highlighting people's sometimes odd "lucky" game day traditions.  The catch phrase was "It's Only Weird If It Doesn't Work."

I was awarded the CityArtist grant.  So there's that.

I'm not encouraging superstition, but if you've got something that works for you, then go for it.

My lucky Star.
And, of course, give yourself enough time.

I really don't know how I feel about the application I turned in today.  I could have used one more
night to sleep on it and do a FINAL final review.  I'm just glad that I went through the process--don't ask don't get.  Extra score bonus:  I now have an updated artist resume and I also articulated a sub-theme of my graphic novel that I hadn't really pinned down before.

Also--true story--I took myself out to lunch to celebrate/recover and the diner was playing Mazzy Star, Fade Into You.

 Girl On The Road posts about comics, publication and community on Tuesdays.

No comments:

Post a Comment