Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Dos and Don'ts of Applying for a SAYAB Project and Development Grant

After reading a bunch of applications for Project and Development funding for SAYAB, I've had a good hard think about some tips I'd love to give to the burgeoning young artists of SA. Here are the top twelve that didn't involve the fun of naming and shaming.

1. If you're going to put something on the internet, DON'T then hint that this will lend your work "international exposure and a potential audience of millions!". We know how the internet works, we're not that bloody old. Think about how you're going to get people to experience your art if you're not primarily an internet-based artist.

2. DO read the instructions on the application form. Read them. Read. Them. All the way through. Then follow those instructions. I know great art is about breaking rules, but when you reach the part that says "SAYAB will not pay for 100% of your costs", don't break that one. You will become sad.

3. DO raise money elsewhere. Ask local businesses, have a sausage sizzle, beg your parents, beg your mates' parents, sell stuff on eBay, participate in medical experiments, ask everyone you're paying for your project for a discount - they can only say no! (Or, in the case of your parents, kick you out for playing your sitar non-stop all day instead of going out and getting on with life!!). That way, instead of saying "Expenditure on Sound Engineer - $500" you can say "
Expenditure on Sound Engineer - $500, Income from Sound Engineer - $250 Yay! She's doing it half price!"

4. We have about $50,000 to share among 40 or 50 applicants. Like you, many of these applicants are also talented, hard-working and deserving young artists. DON'T ask for twenty Gs. Or even ten. We're about broadening South Australia's artistic talent base and we could fund two projects which are just as awesome as yours for five grand a piece. Or four for two-five each.

5. DO send in a sample of your work. DON'T send in all of it. An entire script won't get read. Just pick the bestest most totally rad part that made your girlfriend cry and send that bit in.

6. If you're screaming with delight about some awesome piece of kit you've sourced to make your movie/album/stage production/performance art explosion, DO explain it to us as you would your bored mother. Remember to justify why you need it for this particular project. Sending in a photocopy of the entire instruction manual doesn't count.

7. DO check your spelling. Or if you really are too lazy to do a spell check, at least read the things you've written in your application out aloud to check that it all makes sense. However, if you are submitting an application for a writing project, then unfortunately, your spelling will be held to a higher standard. Sorry about that, it just will.

8. The application isn't an exam paper. DO ask for help. There is someone at Carclew who is paid money to help you fill out your application. She is just sitting there, waiting for your call. Call her. Call her now. You can sit down together and she will hold your hand and tell you gently that your idea for a concept album/live sculpture tour of Eastern Europe is a trifle ambitious for someone whose major talent lays in stick figure art.

9. DO talk up your art. DON'T imply that SAYAB has no choice
other than to fund your cutting edge exhibition of Clag and walnuts if it wants to remain current in the eyes of all who are hip and with it in the South Australian arts community. We're hip. We're with it. Dukka dukka dukka dukka dukka dukka.

10. DON'T overreach. Big ideas are wonderful, but a series of concerts starring your two-week-old band and its four songs, all of which are available on Myspace, isn't going to get funded. Ask for cash for a mentor instead.

11. DO balance your budget. If your Income doesn't match your Expenditure, you're either stupid or crooked, depending on whether you're losing money or making it.

12. DON'T ask for money just so that you can make it. We're not going to fund a production run of your art so you can flog it off and trouser the profits. And besides, if that really worked, don't you think we would have done it already?


If you look down the bottom of this blog, you will find my little Statcounter and you will also find that I have recently surpassed 50,000 hits! In honour of this ... um ... honour, I shall post some of the more 'interesting' keyword searches whereby people have landed on this page.
For instance:
* 'pulteney grammar, sex change' proves whatever rude point I may have been seeking to make about private schools and/or school reunions.
* '
dirtiest joke in the world in writing' may be talking up my credentials or my unwillingness to put The Sushi Joke to screen.
* '
legal tombolla methods' is a search that actually comes up more often than you would think.
* But, for true internet horror '
girls first time how to not make it hurt' is something that ... um ... I ... welllllll ... let's just move on and call it a night.

GTH - Murphy and 327 take away the honours for most accurate guess and most chuckleworthy comment.


  1. Hmm, I think you're being a bit harsh in assuming that the world wouldn't be *dying* to see a 'Clag and Walnuts' art installation. I laughed so hard I farted....

    50,000 hits is a top effort, mate!

  2. The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.



An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32