Artists for something
by Robert Genn March 10, 2009 Dear Rodney, A group mailing arrived here yesterday. A young friend was asking for donations so he could quit his day job and get serious about painting. I told him to keep me informed of his impending cash flow. His request reminded me of a ne'er-do-well rock musician I once knew. When asked if he ever did fundraisers, he answered, "Only if they raise funds for me." It's easy for creative folks to get a feeling of entitlement. I've always thought there had to be something in it for the funder as well as the fundee. Advances on future performance have a way, like those notorious sub-prime loans, of non-performing. Grant-giving organizations know all about this. What's better for creative folks is to dig around in their passions. Doesn't matter what these are--dancing, kayaking, figure skating, perch fishing, bird watching--as long as they're sincere. Passion builds connections. Enhancing the personal solvency of the passionate just happens to be a by-product. Recently, I received a request from subscriber Jeffrey Whiting to join a collective movement called "Artists for Conservation." They charge you to get in. AFC is a significant way for artists to "support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage." Right down my alley. Five hundred Signature Members from 27 countries are publishing wildlife art books, holding exhibitions and promoting knowledge. It's invitational. Your work has to be up to scratch. But just hobnobbing with competent folks like Derek Wicks, Robert Bateman, Eva Van Rijn, Jay Johnson, Pablo Dominguez and Alison Nicholls would be worth the jury and the fees. To give you an idea of some of the work done by AFC members, we've put up a selection at the top of the current clickback. http://clicks.robertgenn.com/feeling-blue.php No one likes the idea of sitting with a tin cup and a sign that says "I'm an artist. Feed me." Better to think about who we can feed. In this day and age there's a universe of possibilities. Believe me, when artists get into servicing their passions rather than shivering in the rain, good stuff happens. Best regards, Robert PS: "We are a collective of like-minded artists who share a common mission." (Jeffrey Whiting, President and Founder of AFC) Esoterica: The AFC is a not-for-profit foundation where members share expenses. You can get an idea of the full range of their activities by going to www.natureartists.com. If you think someone owes you something, the Foundation is offering its 9th Flag Expedition Fellowship and a $5,000 grant for an artist to travel to a remote part of the world to study threatened species or habitats.