Over the past few years I’ve had to put work on the back burner a bit and only dipped my toes in here and there to stay in touch with things and keep things moving albeit at a snails pace. This has been down to health issues, pregnancies and finally being blessed with baby Milo who has been keeping me occupied for the past 18 months. Good news though – things are about to start chaning around here…. hopefully….
I’ve been feeling really lost with Milomade of late as I’ve not been making many sales, I’ve not had time to make and create, there’s been zero time to promote and blog as well and I have been on the verge of giving it all up.
I used to work as a fulltime web desginer and this went down to part time when I went freelance in 2003 and I’ve had a great career designing and building sites for so many amazing people and companies over the years and I have always loved my job. Since returning to work in January though, after my maternity leave, I’ve only been able to work one day a week with the odd additional hours here and there and with web design this is pretty tricky to manage as it’s like having hiccups – you can’t get stuck into a project and just as the momentum is picking up you have to pack it all up and leave it until the following week. I’ve not been enjoying it as much because of this and haven’t been getting the same buzz from it at all and I’ve also not been able to take as much work on as I used to and instead only dealing with one project at a time.
I’ve found myself relishing any moment I’ve been able to spare for Milomade to make things with my hands and the satisfaction I’ve been getting from these little moments has far outweighed that of doing any web design. So I decided to throw the gauntlet down for myself and challenge myself to change my career and income streams – I should be doing what I love for a living and not as a sideline anymore. A switch is necessary. I want to carry on with web design, but I want this to be my sideline now and I’d like Milomade to take centre stage.
I’ve been feeling like this for a while now but not had the guts to do anything about it. But I bit the bullet recently and got in touch with Fife Contemporary Art & Craft to see if they could suggest a mentor or offer me advice on how I can make a go of Milomade and get things back up and running and maybe make Milomade my fulltime job. I am so glad I did!!! I blogged about this In August.
When we went away on holiday in July and I took all the relevent info with me saved onto my iPad and spent many a lovely warm evening with a glass of wine and BBQ sizzling away putting down my thoughts and replies to the questions asked in the forms. It wasn’t hard to write, in fact this was the easiest application I’ve ever written. I guess it’s because I’ve been thinking about this for so long and have fantasised about making a go of Milomade and doing it full time and have mentally made short term, medium term and long terms plans and goals. After we got back I got some photography together, updated my CV, filled in the application forms properly and sent everything off. I had a whole month to wait to find out if I’d been selected and I kind of forgot all about it.
So when I got the email from FCA&C saying I’d got it, it took a while to sink in. I was alone in the house with no Milo, no Colin and no dog and it was really overwhleming to read the news on my own and take it all in. A few tears were shed and I was filled with excitement and fear at the same time and had no one to share it with, so I just ran around screaming on my own for a bit and when I calmed down I posted the news up on Facebook – I could feel the virtual pats on my back and hear the virtual cheering and that really helped.
It’s taken a while to get started, but I had my induction meeting last week, got appointed a mentor and discussed how I want to take things over the next year and how to allocate funding etc – all very exciting and I will talk about it more in future posts. I’ve made a category called ‘Next Steps Programme’ and will allocate all relevant blog posts to that category so you’ll be able to find them easily.
If you want to find out more about the Next Steps Programme, get in touch with FCA&C, but here is an outline of what it’s about…
Purpose of Scheme:
Applicants will be applying to be part of the programme, not for a specific amount of funding. The Next Steps support programme provides funding up to the value of £6000.
The programme, which will run for up to 12 months, will be tailored to the individual artist and it will include 1-1 mentoring. Depending on the artists requirements it may also include:
- Development of skills/training
- Creation of new work
- Presenting and marketing work
Successful applicants will have demonstrated a level of commitment to their practice and have achieved a body of work out with formal education.
All applicants will be assessed against the following criteria:
- the expected impact of the financial support on the applicant’s creative development
- the quality of the applicant’s work
- the clarity of purpose behind the submission and reasons given for applying for support (written proposal)
- the relationship of the proposal to current work
- the quality of the supporting material supplied (CV, visual material)
Who can apply:
The scheme is open to Fife based craft/visual artists, living or based in Fife. Applicants should be at an early stage of their career (suggested 5 years out of college).