Applying for an Individual Artist Award can seem overwhelming. Between choosing work samples, updating your artist resume, building a budget, and writing a project narrative there are many places for mistakes to occur. Luckily our IAA panelists have shared some advice to help combat common errors.

Note: IAA panelists change every year. They come from the Lower 48. Each is matched with a category that relates to his or her artistic background.

Here are tips from recent panelists:

1.   Use details

Artists should explain their projects, work and goals with as much detail as possible. Please give specifics if there are places you wish to travel or institutions you hope to involve or focus on. The goal is to give a clear idea of the direction you want to take for your project.

One panelist wrote in comments to an artist: “Dream big and write in specifics.”

2.   Submit a resume

Submitting a resume or a longer curriculum vitae (CV) is crucial when applying for this award. These documents help the reviewer get a detailed sense of your career. If you are unsure whether your resume clearly represents you, have a friend or someone who knows your work well to review it. It’s OK to ask someone for help in writing this.

 3.  Include recent work samples

Please make sure most submitted work samples are recent, especially if you are not including very many.

Work samples should reflect goals and plans you have for the award. For example, if you plan on documenting and capturing images of history and culture in other areas of Alaska, it is important that the work samples you submit show you can pull that off.

Submit as many samples as you can, within the rules for your discipline. You can include older examples, but focus on recent ones to show growth and evolution.

4.  Break down your budget

Break down your budget into categories to give a clear picture of your project and its needs. The project budget tells a story, just as the project narrative does. Panelist want concrete information.

5.  Just what is an artist’s resume, anyway?

A resume is not the same as a biography. Your resume should list your professional experiences, achievements, and credentials. These items should be organized by date with the most recent on the top. Your strongest categories should be on the first page. Your resume should be easy to read and give the reviewer a clear picture of your career.

If you want to know more, check out the video of our staff-led workshops on the Individual Artist Award application process.