For our VACMA Spotlight series we will be looking at how artists and craft makers have used their VACMA grants to further develop their practice.

Last year, May Graham applied for VACMA’s Early Career bursary of £750; May is a photographer and used her bursary for a 12 month online British Academy of Photography Course to gain advanced photography skills and techniques to take her photography to the next level.

I highly recommend this course to anyone serious about advancing their photography skills. The group discussions after each session provide a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals.

In a recent tutorial, we delved into the significance of light in photography, exploring various lighting techniques, understanding the importance of equipment and learning how to plan a successful photoshoot. I particularly enjoyed learning about studio portraits and how to effectively navigate them.

I wholeheartedly encourage fellow creators seeking funding to support their creative journey to consider applying this year. I am eagerly anticipating the future and the completion of my British Academy of Photography course, which is equivalent to level 3 in the RQF.

May Graham

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA) are a programme of small grant schemes administered by local authorities and art agencies, offering support to visual artists and craft makers. Previous VACMA recipients have used their bursaries for various purposes, including training, attending courses, production costs, testing new techniques and experimenting with new materials.

Regardless of your experience, if you are an artist or craft maker looking to further your creative and professional development, consider applying for VACMA.

Shetland Arts, in partnership with Creative Scotland and Shetland Islands Council, invites applications for bursaries of £500 or £750 towards creative and professional development, available twice a year.

The application deadline for the next round of VACMA awards is Februry 6, 2024. To find out more and apply, please click here.

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