Work Samples

  1. For the Work Samples use your last name first, first name initial, underscore, and the word work, ex. DoeJ_work01, DoeJ_work02, etc. You will attach each sample to the Online Application once all application materials are ready to be submitted. NOTE: If your work samples are on a website, the titles need to match the Work Sample List. List the link at the top of the List page.

 

Your work samples can range from jpegs to pdfs, mp3 or wave files—depending on your artistic discipline. You'll want to clearly label each sample with the title, date, medium, size, and venue (whatever is appropriate for your field). Refer to the work sample requirements for your discipline in Step 4.

Remember, excellent work samples are essential to a first-rate proposal package. Spend the time and energy that you need to be sure that these samples are professionally produced and well-presented. The presentation of your work will make a big difference in your chances for support! If you are a visual artist, download the Visual Artist Handout for information about photographing your artwork.

Supplement your work samples with a description sheet. This information can be included in the List of Work Samples sheet. Here you'll list titles, dimensions, materials, date completed, length of performance, location and date of performance, your role, and any other technical or descriptive information that's pertinent.

Choose the ideal samples to make a powerful impression.

Even though this is a project grant, your project will not be funded if your work samples are weak. The first stage in every process is an artistic evaluation, so you need to pay attention to what you choose to submit.

  • With work samples it's a matter of avoiding mistakes first. If you're a writer make sure there are no typos in your manuscript and that it's formatted in a readable manner (e.g., adequate margins and line spacing); if you're a visual artist avoid out-of-focus, poorly cropped, or cluttered images. Panelists and judges are generally charitable but busy people. They will try to give you the benefit of the doubt but ultimately decide that you didn't care enough to submit a work sample they could review without distractions or extrasensory powers.
  • Visual artists should always submit work samples in a format that all the panelists can experience at the same time. This means jpegs; digital images uploaded with the Online Application or a link to a website with the designated ten images. CDs and DVDs are no longer accepted. It is much easier to assess all work online for the judges and panelists.
  • Strong and recent representations of the quality of your work. If you're submitting more than one sample, it's generally best to stay in genre. Coherence helps anchor your work in the panelist's mind and avoid unflattering comparisons if they sense unevenness.
  • In keeping with the project you have proposed. Your pastels may be lovely but they don't say much about your ability to do large-scale fresco painting. If it's all you've got then go with it, but understand that the panel may have reservations that you will need to address.

    If the sample is part of a longer work or one of several, make sure it is cued correctly or that the order is the way you want the panelists to experience it. As a general rule, it's best to submit only what you want the panel to read, see, or hear.

    Work-sample descriptions and labeling. See ORDER OF APPLICATION on how to name and save your work samples and additional documents. It is very useful to have your name, titles, media, dimensions, dates of completion, running times, etc.

    At its most straightforward, it's the same information as above, but you may wish to expand on it further, as appropriate to your art form:
  • For visual artists
    Title, date of completion, medium, dimensions, and (for installations and time-based works) description of experiential aspects not apparent in images
  • For composers and songwriters
    Title, date of completion, running time of selected segment, and instrumentation
  • For choreographers
    Title, date of completion, running time of selected segment, where and when the performance represented took place, and the performers or ensemble
  • For filmmakers
    Title, date of completion, running time, original format, your role and the role of other key people in the production, relevant technical considerations, and a brief synopsis of complete work
  • For writers
    Title, genre, and (if you're submitting an excerpt of a longer work) a brief synopsis of the work as a whole
  • For performers
    Instrument or role played, name of production, when and where performance took place, and name of ensemble or company if part of a larger production

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