Resources: Rimbun Dahan art residency application

[This is an example of a Resources post available to patrons at the Warung Wordsmiths tier and above.]

First, the exciting news: next year, I'll get to spend two months working on Kejora at the Rimbun Dahan Southeast Asian Arts Residency! I could not have gotten this without all the guides and samples written by various artists online for applying to residencies or preparing proposals. So, inspired largely by Sharon Chin's 'A Decade of Art Proposals' post, I'm sharing the application I submitted for this residency. By no means is it a model or good application, but it worked for me, and there is no better way to give back to the art community than to share what we know. A rising tide lifts all boats. 

To begin, I read the information provided about the residency. I also looked at the list of previous recipients; among them were several writers and illustrators (hi Nadhir, hi Dhiyanah!) so there was a good chance that my application would be considered seriously. Other plus points: there was no fee to apply or to take up the residency; artists are provided a small stipend; there is no expectation of a concrete output, which meant that I could focus on exploring and developing process instead of being pressured to produce. 

Quoting the Rimbun Dahan site, an application consists of:

  • A biodata/CV
  • A selection of images/samples of recent work
  • A short statement of why a stay at Rimbun Dahan would benefit your art practice
  • Dates for which you are seeking accommodation and the proposed duration of your residency

Because I do not come from an art school background and my work experience encompasses three major areas (teaching, community arts & culture education, illustration), I could not directly follow samples of artist CVs I found online - those are geared towards fine artists working primarily with galleries or collectors.

Instead, I looked for interdisciplinary artists and used their CVs as guides. The MIT Media Lab is a great place to start if you want to see how people communicate their seemingly disparate interests and backgrounds in a unified way! And perhaps there was no need to include anything not directly related to illustration - but my arts education work is as much a part of me as my art, influencing my practice, so I included it.

A useful practice is to maintain a working CV document where you add in items as they occur. This ensures that you don't have to struggle to compile a year's worth of experience whenever you have to submit one. You can then make a copy of it for each application, whether it's for a job or residency or grant, and delete irrelevant items.

I didn't include the selection of images/samples in this post; putting that together is similar to putting together a portfolio. Pick ones that are relevant to your proposal, label them, compile them into a PDF, make sure the file size isn't ginormous. Make it easy for people to understand your work.

And that's it - Rimbun's application is relatively straightforward and short. For a guide on putting together a more comprehensive proposal involving budgets and project timelines, see the previous link


If you found this helpful, do share it with others and consider becoming a patron for access to more resources like this. Leave a comment, let me know what you think!

-Charis

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