I once went and stood outside The Times offices in London and just felt, really concentrated on feeling, the class and social barriers between the building in front of me and the reality of ever actually being a columnist there (my secret journalistic dream).
A few years later I made my way through the lobby to attend a Journalism Diversity Fund buffet and talk. Same building. One of the columnists was there, supposedly to inspire those of us who were fortunate recipients of the Fund. He just chatted to his colleagues and raided the buffet instead. I stood and I just concentrated on feeling the class and social barriers between me and my dream. A few of the barriers had been pushed through, but so many more remained.
This Creative Scotland application for Artificial Womb is… similar.
I’m standing outside Creative Scotland funding looking into the lobby and trying to work out how to get in and up the stairs and into a seat at the table.
Consulting with the Cultural Enterprise Office, as per the recommendation on my previous (failed) application, seems to have clarified a little what’s going on inside the lobby but I still don’t know how to get into the building at all.
Who reads these things? What kind of projects will mine be compared against? Can I see some examples of successful applications and unsuccessful ones? Is there someone’s office I should show up at in the Central Belt? Or someone’s door I should deliver complimentary wine to do? Is there something else they want me to do apart from fill in this form?
And just when I find a rhythm and think I know what I’m doing I’ll trip on another bit. For instance, how on earth do I fill out this table?
How do I calculate the VAT on products that I make? Should I be paying VAT? Or charging it?
This is my spreadsheet for the business for the next financial year (projected of course).
Wages for Alfie and I aren’t included there. On their own they add an extra £8,424 if we pay ourselves minimum wage and set my weekly hours at 15 and Alfie’s at 7 1/2.
Essentially the application is to cover those staffing costs, as well as the increased cost of printing and my desk rental at the Fleet Collective once I turn 26 in October.
There’s a couple of other things in there, like the MOT in September, the final car payment in November and the financial hit of not producing a January issue of the zine.
But there’s some income boosts too. It’s reasonable to assume that art sales will increase around my birthday (when I usually get a burst of sympathy) and Xmas.
And realistically the amount of Patrons and the circulation should grow over the next year, but this is a conservative estimate of the financial year based on how the business has been running so far (minus the car repayments that have been – will be by April – cleared until the last month).
So, it all seems to make more or less sense. But where does the VAT come in? And what parts are marketing rather than materials? (I mean, it’s a magazine – it kind of is its own advertisement).
I’m reading through the accompanying ‘Information Sheet – Help with Budgets’. But I’m not trained in accounts and the whole thing is making me feel nauseous.
And, I guess as a follow up to the last post about not making any money, when you buy a zine this is the expenditure it filters through. As you can see by the numbers there’s not really a profit. So I can’t pay myself (or Alfie). This is annoying. I’d rather not be asking Creative Scotland for support at all, but *shrugs* if I start overanalysing that aspect of the application again I’ll never send it off.
Suggestions on VAT welcome. All other suggestions less welcome (particularly if they involve changing my broadband contract or my car insurance – the amount of hassle verses the gain will be minimal).
At least some progress was made today.
N.B. Anyone who suggests I ‘get a job’ rather than apply for art funding for my arts business will be blocked. Any ‘job searching’ is between me and my job centre advisor. Unless you need your sphincter cleaned, in which case call me and I’ll do it with my tongue.