As creatives working in the advertising industry, Elizabeth Commandeur and Mark Starmach aren’t what we think of as traditional artists.
Yet their 2018 installation, Intangible Goods, a vending machine that dispensed intangible goods like purpose and friendship, became one of Art & About’s most popular projects ever.
Read on for their insider advice and top application tips.
When you applied, had you ever done anything like this before?
Liz: Advertising campaigns, if they count. And if we go back even further, university projects and childhood scribblings. But nothing on this scale by ourselves.
Mark: We were looking for a creative project outside the 9 to 5, something to sink our teeth into.
What was the application process like?
Liz: It was very seamless, and achievable for creatives without any previous public artwork experience.
Mark: We put a lot of thought into our application. We included mock-ups and diagrams of how it would work to clearly explain our vision to the judges.
What was working with Art & About like?
Liz: Art & About was fantastic—always available to meet or on email if we had concerns or questions.
Mark: They were very helpful in areas we had no experience in, for example, conducting risk assessments.
Would you recommend applying for Art & About?
Mark: Emphatically yes! We were able to stay so true to our original vision. There really is no public art program like it.
Liz: If you’re an aspiring artist, Art & About is the perfect program to get your headstart. Not only does it provide access, funds and support to showcase your work, it really enriches the community and helps Sydneysiders connect in new ways.
What advice would you offer potential applicants?
Mark: Keep it simple. And remember that you are not just selling your idea to the judges, you are also selling yourself and your ability to pull it off.
Liz: Make sure it's achievable within the timings and budgets. An idea is only an idea until it's executed flawlessly.
Applications to be part of the Art & About 2021 program close at 5pm, Friday 7 February.