Q&A with young regional artist Jacob Raupach

Young regional artist Jacob Raupach. Photo: courtesy the artist.

Young regional artist Jacob Raupach. Photo: courtesy the artist.

Meet Jacob, one of 25 regional NSW young artists awarded a $10,000 scholarship under a major NSW Government scheme to develop emerging artistic talent.

The Young Regional Artist Scholarships (YRAS), available for all art forms, fund activities such as mentorships or internships with arts organisations, short-term courses and other training, national and international travel and creation of new work.

Jacob discusses his YRAS journey below.

Name: Jacob Raupach
Region: Riverina
Artform/practice: Visual Arts

Why did you apply for the Young Regional Artist Scholarship?

Over the last few years, I have been working on a photographic project that I plan to publish as a monograph in 2017. I wanted to spend time getting this work critiqued by my peers at international festivals and undertake some workshops prior to publishing it, as well as attempt to demystify the process of publishing more generally.

These things hadn’t ever seemed like a possibility before, so this scholarship really seemed like the right opportunity to fulfill those goals. Plus, it’s not often that there is specific funding like the scholarship for young, regional artists – it was too good to pass up!

What regional activities did you undertake as part of the scholarship?

I was interested in using this opportunity as a means to access information and activities like festivals and workshops/studio visits with national/international artists that happen outside of regional centres.

However, the work that I make as an artist is heavily invested in understanding the economies of regional centres. This scholarship is intended to help facilitate the production of a monograph in 2017 that focuses primarily on resource-based industry in regional NSW and some funds from the scholarship are being used directly to produce new photographs for the book.

What has receiving the scholarship meant for you as a regional artist?

Receiving the scholarship has been an extremely humbling and significant moment for me. It means a great deal that an organisation like Arts NSW is willing to believe and invest in a project that I’m working on and that they also see the importance of providing specific funding for regional artists.

It’s often easy to imagine that there are more opportunities in metropolitan areas but this scholarship is allowing me to experience those opportunities and then come back to a regional area and share them with my peers.

Did you experience any challenges along the way that changed your original plan? If so, how did you overcome these challenges?

My plans have changed quite significantly from my initial scholarship application. I don’t think I really considered how best to use the $10,000 in my original application, but I’ve since made some changes and feel like my current scholarship trajectory feels more on track. I had intended to spend time in Europe attending a photobook festival, undertaking workshops and meeting with galleries and artists over a four-week period. That festival has since announced that they will be hosting this year’s event in Beijing, China so now I’ll be spending 10 days in Beijing but will also be undertaking a residency at the Australian National University in August this year. These aren’t necessarily extreme challenges, but my plans have changed quite dramatically from my initial proposal.

I’ve been quite lucky in that the bulk of my scholarship activities aren’t happening until the middle of 2016, so I’ve had time to reflect on what I want to get out of this experience and make changes that I think make for a more well-rounded scholarship. It’s been great to know that everyone at Arts NSW is extremely open and helpful about changing aspects of the scholarship. Things can change dramatically from the time of application to when it’s actually supposed to happen, so they’re support and guidance has made overcoming these issues so much easier.

When you submitted your application, which aspects did you find difficult and how did you work through them? 

I think one of the most difficult parts was actually considering how best to use the $10,000 and turn that abstract monetary figure into actual outcomes. I spent a long time thinking about the project and still found things I wanted to change after submitting. The budget is always difficult and takes a long time to get right and balanced, particularly when you’re planning for things that haven’t even been announced yet. Throughout the process of writing my application I would discuss it with my peers and my Regional Arts Development Organisation (RADO) as I made progress. Getting feedback on my writing, budget and support material was invaluable to help me work through the process.

Do you have any advice for potential applicants applying to the YRAS program?

Really consider how you can make the most out of the scholarship and how it can benefit your arts practice in the long term. Leave yourself plenty of time to discuss your application with peers and your local RADO – this is the feedback that will make your application and the final scholarship activities the best they can be. \

Most importantly, dream up a development program for yourself that you never thought could happen!

The YRAS program will see 100 scholarships valued at $10,000 each awarded over four years and 25 scholarships will be awarded in 2016. 

Applications are now open for Round One, closing 27 June 2016. For more information about the YRAS program click here.


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