Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

An artist residency is a great chance in a creative’s profession to commit focused time on artwork as nicely as to fulfill new artists. There is a ton to take into consideration ahead of and for the duration of the application system, this kind of as working areas, finances, and how to capture the focus of application reviewers.

It is essential to seem into the facts of each individual residency you are looking at, as several variants in length, target, and dedication. There can be a lot to learn about residencies prior to you start applying, so just take some time to study about the key elements that can assistance you find the perfect a single for you, and listen to from some artists about their very own experiences with residencies and why they keep on to take part a lot more during their careers.

What to search for in an artist residency


Most residencies past concerning a few of months to a several months, so the time you have to dedicate to a single can slender down your lookup and collection. There are in some cases fees involved (additional on this beneath), along with conclusions to make about your current housing. How much you want to travel can be a selecting aspect as nicely, as most residencies won’t go over the price to get to them.

Natalie Baxter, a sculpturist based in upstate New York whose residencies have bundled Wassaic Challenge, Vermont Studio Heart, Stove Is effective, and Konstepidemin, spoke about the distinction in residencies for the duration of her 20s vs . now with a family members.

artist residency

Sculpturist Natalie Baxter, who has completed artist residences from Vermont to Tennessee to Sweden, finds for a longer time timeframes to be extra valuable for her do the job now that she has a spouse and children.

Baxter’s initial residencies were being thirty day period-prolonged, as effectively as shut to New York City, in which she labored at the time. The time period of time allowed her to take a look at the new strategy she used to do the job on but also continue on with her position in the metropolis while fiscally being ready to manage her living scenario.

Now that she is married and has a spouse and children, Baxter has appreciated the time with residencies that are a number of months lengthy alternatively than just one. In her most recent residencies, her relatives has traveled and put in time in Tennessee and Sweden. In her impression, a residency that is only 1 thirty day period in her profession would not be as beneficial. With a more time residency, she is able to spread her concentrate throughout her perform, family, and exploring a new location.

Space and Materials

Determining on the correct studio space can be crucial, relying on your craft. Unique residencies differ in the studio spaces they provide, these types of as sizing, place, and communal doing work area. One residency may possibly offer you unique rooms to function in, while one more might have all the artists functioning in a big room collectively. Most residencies provide housing and accessibility to standard foods or a kitchen. Make positive you look at aspects and inquire about what spaces and resources will be obtainable, as nicely as if the lodging align with your most effective working setting.
Nono Flores, a Ga-dependent illustrator, and animator who finished an international artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France, was much more focused on finding the new state and city she found herself in. Significantly of her get the job done was exterior the studio area she was specified, sketching the French landscape, buildings, and other inhabitants at get the job done.
Determine with your objectives in thoughts what is the perfect house for you to work in. If you are doing work on a large-scale piece, you are not going to want a compact studio you just cannot shift about in, and vice versa. But be adaptable a new room may possibly have challenges that can open up you up to extra innovative alternatives and exploration in your operate.
It is also critical to know what form of elements you can bring and what will be obtainable to you while you are at a residency. For illustration, if your operate needs a sewing device and you really do not would like to carry your have, it’s very best to make confident one is offered. If you do not demand a significant area to work, you can make that very clear in your software. Flores was ready to work largely in sketchbooks and with private supplies, but Baxter, who functions intensely in textiles, couldn’t convey her household studio total of supplies to each and every spot. As a substitute, Baxter would find vintage and secondhand textiles and materials to work from, frequently letting her findings impact what she would produce.
For your self-discipline, take into account the chance to function in new mediums or experiment with what is regionally obtainable if you are not equipped to convey all the normal supplies with you to a residency. Inspiration and resources drawn from the region the place the residency is positioned have the likely to get your do the job in an enjoyable new path. 

Grants, Fees, and Fellowships

Attending a residency can be highly-priced, especially with the time off function, existing housing, journey, and residency charges. Most residencies do have service fees to be part of, so it is often practical to know the grants and fellowships supplied when you use.

In some cases, any individual who applies for a residency is automatically viewed as for any fellowship available. On acceptance, you listen to regardless of whether or not you also gained a fellowship. Other residencies could have fellowships shown with the application information and facts, and it is up to the applicant to also apply to the fellowship.

Some fellowships may demand a specified background or creative aim to be eligible. It is critical to know regardless of whether it is ideal to utilize for a fellowship at a residency or not. Throughout the application, a residency may perhaps question for extra elements or a penned statement on how the fellowship can go on to enable you with your function.

Relying on the requirements of the grant or contributor that supports a fellowship, you may well be essential to create some thing for the residency or do some operate. In Flores’ circumstance, she needed to produce a little something to depart guiding at the residency. She sketched big illustrations or photos of the chateau that hosted the residency. Baxter has done a identical detail, as properly as offered artist talks and open up studios at numerous residencies.

Baxter does make a point of becoming in a position to do perform like open up studios and speaking with website visitors, as the time with your work can be a personal exploration.

“It’s essential to know when to invite a person into your studio,” she reported. “Giving talks can be stressful for somebody who hasn’t done them just before, primarily if your perform is individual to you.”

Because Flores’ residency was only a number of weeks, there was a person open up studio demonstrate at the stop for the neighborhood group to see their operate.

“I experienced spent as much time seeking to be a element of the town as achievable, so it was awesome to have acquainted faces appear and see what we all had been doing the job on,” she reported.

Essential Takeaways from an Artist Residency

artist residency

An artist residency can offer you time by yourself or time with peers that assistance you learn and develop.

Community and Neighborhood

In the course of her previously residencies, Baxter emphasised that a massive part of her results in taking part was the networking and friendships she made.

“An Artist Residency is fantastic when you are early on in your profession,” she mentioned. “They are an chance to meet other people and to network with artists.”

Throughout 1 particular residency, Baxter was around several generations of artists and listened to about everyone’s journey in their respective professions. It was fantastic for her to listen to from lots of artists at distinct points in their lives and how an artist residency can completely transform every person around time.

For Flores, her artist residency proved to be an option for potential work. She became close with the director of her residency, even placing up an prospect to work for them the adhering to summertime. The interactions she made although at her residency ended up still significant to her, and Flores wishes to go on enabling all those to improve about time.

Routine and Construction

One particular of her preferred matters about her residency was the timetable that Flores established for each and every day. She would get up, get some coffee, and shell out most of her time outside the house sketching in the early morning. In the evenings, the inhabitants would all get for a family members meal just before turning in for the night.
This regularity in schedules and work was a single of the reasons that each Flores and Baxter appreciated their residencies. For the duration of time, each and every was ready to build set instances for doing work and thoroughly dedicate by themselves to the innovative system.

“The time lets for a new headspace,” reported Baxter. “You’re ready to get rid of interruptions and target on your concepts.”

Even with a developing household, Baxter notes the relevance of balancing do the job and spouse and children. She praises her partner, who she credits for earning residencies a part of her vocation a actuality.

Reaction to Society and Lifestyle

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

For Nono Flores, the prosperous, rural French countryside of her artist residency authorized for tranquil meditation in her function with tons of natural features integrated.

When implementing to residencies, the new notion or route you pitch will considerably guide your function, but oftentimes, the impact of the new place and people can renovate your get the job done even even further in strategies you may perhaps not hope.
This is genuine for both Flores and Baxter, who let exterior forces like landscape, persons, and resources affect the function they desired to do.

Baxter’s use of new elements for each and every put would transform her tips and condition them into remaining pieces. Although however concentrating on her recognized craft and technique, the various choices permitted for much more experimentation outdoors her household studio.
Your knowledge in a new space can also affect just how a great deal get the job done you get carried out. Really do not experience pressured to have the utmost total of productivity an particular person can attain. An critical section of an artist residency is dealing with a new house and studying.

You can invest your time discovering a new skill from one more resident or looking at about new suggestions. Some ground breaking artist residences like the Orange Doorway are even devoted to offering artists downtime to relaxation, recharge and talk about their operate with other residents without needs for generation!

Residencies are for you to improved your operate, so as long as you come to feel you are progressing, the means you go about the time are not that suitable.

How to Stand Out in Your Artist Residency Software

There are unique techniques an artist can stand out when implementing to residencies, but across the board, the greatest way is to utilize to destinations that thrust your suggestions forward.
When Baxter would utilize for an artist residency, she ordinarily had a new strategy that she would like to devote some time to perform on. Doing a residency was a good, established total of time for her to dive into this new concept. Fleshing out the particulars of the perform that you would like to do in your software can display how closely your concept or perform can align with relevant alternatives.
Staying authentic in your software also displays that you previously know about exactly where you are making use of. Study apps intently to know if you are the ideal suit for a residency. Becoming honest about your plans and suggestions can enable those people reviewing know if you in good shape all the requirements, they are wanting for in a resident. Numerous purposes require a fee to utilize, so it is most effective not to squander much too significantly time and electricity on apps and residencies that don’t look like a superior suit.
When prepping your portfolio or function to involve with your application, make certain data files are large top quality. Fantastic pics of work that display the most quantity of depth and true-to-lifetime colour are in your very best desire to include things like. Darkened or grainy pictures won’t present your function in its ideal mild.
Verify deadlines to know when is the very best time to post your software. Some residencies might accept programs all year extensive, but some others will only open up purposes for a brief quantity of time. If you’re fascinated in a summer time residency, apps may require to be submitted up to 9 months to a yr in progress. Notice how significantly time you are going to need to have to get your software with each other ahead of submissions close.
Residencies can be a great career tool for seeking new tips and spending devoted time with your perform. Whether or not you spend a several weeks or a couple months in a new metropolis or the depths of the woods, an artist residency can be a successful practical experience, enabling for new neighborhood, framework, and pals.

To come across some of the major artist residency programs, see “8 Artist in Home Systems to Jumpstart your Profession.”

Have you participated in an artist residency? How did the knowledge influence your resourceful exercise and your job? Allow us know in the comments.

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard is a writer and advocate located in Brooklyn, NY. Her producing on ending mass incarceration can be uncovered at Her other work has been highlighted in Artemis and District, as nicely as at the LA Style Festival.