The Art of Applying

Published: 07.06.2012
Sanna Svedestedt, Karin Roy Andersson Sanna Svedestedt, Karin Roy Andersson
Sanna Svedestedt Carboo, Karin Roy Andersson
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:

 Sometimes we feel like the computers are eating our time. We sit down in front of them and the next thing we know three hours has passed.
Computers consumes a lot of time in our everyday jewellery work. We make loads of applications for scholarships and competitions, we produce texts that describe the big masterplans and we try to explain why these plans deserves financial support and attention. All of this is a natural part of being jewellers now.

Swedish artists are lucky, we have a well developed system giving support to artistic work. To start with, school is free and you can take student loans to finance your study. As a professional, you can get help to pay the rent of your studio, and there are many grants handed out by the government to apply for.

But what happens after you have poured your heart (and brain) out and done your absolute best explaining why you deserve to get the chance to exhibit, work, get a grant or a job - and the answer is a simple “no”? This happens to us all the time, and surely to more people than us...?

Here are our words of wisdom on how to get over getting refused:

1. First of all, take the opportunity to get really really disappointed. There’s no need to try brush it off easily, just admit it - you really wanted this chance and you didn’t get it. Curse, jump around and hit something, even cry if you need to.

2. When you have cooled down a bit it’s time to use your support system. Friends and colleagues can help you to analyse the situation, someone that is on your side and rubs your back will definitely make the situation brighter.

3. Now comes the hard part - getting back in the saddle. You are not over the disappointment just yet, but you have to get back to work. Pick up your tools.

4. Analyse but don’t change your style. Try to see why you didn’t get a “yes”. Is there anything you can learn? Decide if you want to take the time to do the same application again next year, when the jury might have developed and are more in line with your thoughts. Keep in mind that you can’t try to please an invisible judge by changing your core style. Stick to yourself and try not to lose hope. Our time will come. It has to.

In Sweden we are spoiled with having foundings to apply to. But what do you have to do to get awarded one? For our project “A Pieceful Swedish Smörgåsbord” and the exhibition “In the Forest” we applied for several grants but did not receive one single scholarship. Our project didn’t fit the standard form of what a “proper” art exhibition should look like. This made us look for different options and in the end we managed to finance the project with sponsors from companies in varied fields. Not doing the right thing in the eyes of the government agency “Swedish Arts Grants Committee” doesn’t mean your project isn’t right in someone else's point of view.

We have to admit that just as much as we feel chained to our computers, we couldn’t live without them. And the good part of making all these applications is that it forces you to put words on what you are doing and why. Then cutting it down to a few characters is a good way to find the most important parts of our work and it helps to develop new ideas.
We use our computers as any other tool to make and show our work. In this way modern technology makes the art scene much more democratic. Not only an exclusive crowd chosen by a few people in a jury has the chance to communicate their work. You can get it out there by yourself. Digital photos is a very cheap and effective way to spread your work. In the making of this blog post we blasted of 115 pictures and then we could just pick out our favourites, fifteen years ago that would have been impossible. And who would have seen it?

So we rule in favour of the computer and all the positive side effects it brings along. And we keep on struggling with the Art - whether it is of Jewellering or Applying.

About the author

Diagonal is a collaboration between Karin Roy Andersson & Sanna Svedestedt. Our focus is to promote contemporary art jewellery. With this blog we share our views & thoughts to take you with us through the ups & downs of our jewellery adventures.