This blog post will be short, but very, very sweet. I received a delightful shock last Thursday (11 May) when I won an arts award. The awards were part of an awards scheme organised by the Waterford branch, an organisation which offers support and networking opportunities to professional women.
The Waterford branch is a fledgling branch, so I entered the awards to make sure that the arts were included in its awards categories. There had to be three entries, and there were, so I was very pleased about that. It’s great that an organisation whose core membership is businesswomen recognises the professionalism of artists and gives them a chance to boost their careers.
Filling in the awards application was more fun than I thought it would be. I had to talk about the work I had done, and it was good to remember the successes I had achieve. I also had to outline my vision for the future, and we artistic types do love an opportunity to dream. The most squirm-inducing part was the financial section, but my figures appear to have satisfied the judges.
I’m now going to utter a number of clichés, but I hope you’ll forgive me, because clichés happen to be true. I did not expect to win the award. My fellow finalists are very cool and talented women. Bara Alich is a portrait photographer who takes intimate portraits of women and children. Eadaoin Breathnach stages ambitious plays in the mountains around Waterford with her theatre company, rig-out productions.
And yes, I do feel honoured to be chosen, honoured that three judges who didn’t know me at all felt that my work was impressive enough to merit an award. We can’t exist in a vacuum, and it’s great to get such validation.
My prize was a trophy, a certificate and free entry a national conference, where the national awards will be given out. I have to do an interview for the national awards in September, so watch this space.
Have you ever won an award? How do you feel it has benefited your career overall? Or was the glory of winning enough?