Creative Futures 2012: Day 2 Part 3: Flis Mitchell

Flis Mitchell: Artists Generating Opportunities for Themselves

I found this talk to be both extremely useful and very inspiring. I’ve contributed to an Arts Council application before, so I was reasonably aware of the process, but I still took a lot away from it in terms of hints and tips. I also hadn’t realised just how many other sources there were to get funding for arts projects. Best of all Flis had gotten funding for a feminist zine! I didn’t think you could get funding for zines (non-schools based zines that is)!  Notes below:

What do you want to do? How can you translate that into money?
Don’t be embarressed about talking about money.
Be the author of your own practice . Know yourself.

Finding your own funding (rather than an agent)

  • Exciting
  • Control
  • Collaborate
  • Specific aims


  • Time hungry
  • Hard work
  • Honesty about your own weaknesses
  • Workload

Learn from your mistakes and failures.

Intent: outcomes, learning, aims, flexibility
Need: is there a need for your project, market research benefits
Exploit your Environment: everything that you need is all around you!

  • Work experience, have a terrible job? There are ways you can use it!
  • Allow it to inform your practice and draw on it.
  • Networks: think about who you know. NOT JUST THE ‘ARTS PEOPLE’
  • Talk to people, make yourself known

Social Media

  • De-construct and subvert what social media can do
  • Be a regular poster
  • Develop your own voie
  • Add value to your site though links
  • Play with the format
  • Project and group blogs
  • Twitter gives you access to people you might never meet
  • Tours via Twitter
  • Facebook (in decline?)
  • Plan your Facebook pages in advance. Planned content is always better content.
  • Cross promotion – give other people a platform and they’ll do the same for you.
  • Take  upkeep seriously. Respond quickly.
  • Don’t be fooled by “cosiness”; nothing online is private!
  • Having an online presence is free!
  • Act according to what YOUR project needs.

Join AN (Artist’s Newsletter), very valuable content and access to workshops.
Research online communities.
Go to galleries and join mailing lists.

Vague Fears
Redrawing the trailer of “Jaws  2” frame by frame. Drawing research.
Applied to the Arts Council. They’re not all artists!
Help from a bid writer and magazine editor; someone with fresh eyes.
Do your homework, research your local arts council’s viewpoint.
Upon second application was successful (£5000)

  • Living expenses/ wages
  • Rent for studio space
  • Printing and materials costs

Willing to allow for reasonable changes.

Queen of the Track (Zine)
Paid for by contributors
Self publishing models, D.I.Y, Grass-roots, feminist
“Drawing Paper” Drawing zine, international connections
3000 copies, glossy paper
(After funding for equipment) Legal structure, bank account, constitutive, “Unincorporated Association”
Small trust funds are available. Many are undersubscribed.
Most trust funds won’t fund things that the government should be doing, such as degrees.

Cave Art Fair
Crowd funding.
Private funds.
Unlimited; people not projects, lots of support.
Micro Comission
What you build through the project is connections and networks; not just money!
Impact of international artists is low on the local community 

This entry was published on March 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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