The VSCO® Artist Initiative is a $1,000,000usd scholarship fund providing artists the resources to pursue their creative vision. The Initiative exists to honor art and artist by discovering, funding, advising and promoting creatives from all corners of the globe. It is a movement of solidarity, a commonwealth of creatives who value art and those that make it.
Recipients will document their ideation and creation process on VSCO Grid™, with the end result sold via the VSCO Store and physical gallery exhibitions. Profits are divided between the artist and a reinvestment in the Initiative, enabling future projects for other artists. In this manner, the creative community can build a growing and sustainable movement built upon principles of integrity and artistry.
Growing up in a small town in New South Wales, Australia, Natalie McComas relied on her own imagination to keep herself entertained. She developed a curiosity for people’s stories and has continued delving beneath the surface to understand and document the complexities of human nature.
Anton Rodriguez, a freelance fashion photographer, first moved to central London while studying fashion design. Through his training, Anton realized his preference for unique shapes, natural light, and clean lines, and a passion for photography was born.
Based in both New York and Los Angeles, but having spent time living in the United Arab Emirates, Yumna Al-Arashi brings a unique cross-cultural perspective to her work. Immersed in the world of fashion photography, she also takes on documentary projects which promote social justice and human rights awareness.
Driven by a strong sense of wanderlust, Los Angeles based animator and photographer Sean Pecknold finds inspiration from his many travels and the idea of life being in constant movement. His work is playful, yet mysterious, as he evokes the unknown in his creative and colorful pieces.
Benjamin Heath travels the world as he partners with prominent brands, capturing both extraordinary individuals and locations. With a strength for environmental portraiture and documentary photography, Benjamin finds purpose in conveying other’s stories through his photographs.
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, photographer James Robertson has been documenting active lifestyles and sports for years. His images evoke the success, failure, and determination of individuals as they pursue triumph in the midst of grueling physical conditions.
Brothers Don and Ryan Clark were inspired from a young age to pursue their fascination with music and art. Together, the Seattle duo creates a wide body of work for clients ranging from record labels to major publications and brands.
Michael Cina, an award-winning typographer and visual artist hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has produced work for some of the world’s largest companies through his design studio. Working in various mediums, Mike creates visual narratives in both his professional and personal pursuits.
Based in Berlin, Mustafah Abdulaziz is a seasoned photojournalist. The first contract photographer for the Wall Street Journal and one of PDN’s 30 best photographers in 2012, Mustafah is passionate about the subjects he captures, and he finds beauty in even the most harrowing of circumstances.
Although she is only 14 years old, age has never limited Izzy in her creative pursuits. Surrounded by her supportive family and New York City’s inspirational offerings, Izzy explores photography, illustration, music, cooking, and writing with a spirit of inventiveness.
Welsh animator Gemma Green-Hope finds inspiration from the rich history of the countryside of Wales. Gemma’s playful, unique art brings the viewer back to a time of childlike wonder, where inanimate objects could move and pictures came to life.
Joekenneth is a gifted writer who masterfully uses word and verse to conjure up strong images in readers’ minds. The craft and wisdom behind his message, delivered in an emotive, compelling manner, has already earned him recognition in the creative world, with companies like Nike calling upon him to bring his voice to their brands.
Based in Harlem, Sierra finds her inspiration in neighborhood interactions. Shooting candid imagery of the inhabitants of her New York City borough, Sierra has developed her creative voice through documenting stories about Harlem with gritty, black and white photography.
Based in Chihuahua, Mexico, Leo has been able to capture true street photography through the documentation of the city he knows best. His images are striking and emotional, and with a keen eye, he plays with light and shadow to create crisp images of the people he meets on the city’s streets.
As a working architectural photographer in Egypt, Nour also has a passion for documenting the communities he visits during his extensive traveling. Through his striking portraits and snapshots of daily life, viewers are brought face to face with cultures potentially a world apart from their own.
A former chef who resides in New York City, Josh has established himself as a standout creative in the photography community. With an honest approach to documenting his subjects, Josh captures intimate, up-close moments. His portraiture puts the viewer right in the room with his subject and conjures a desire to understand their story.
Chris calls the mountains above Honolulu home. Working in a studio space surrounded by the beauty of island life, Chris creates mesmerizing crystal work that attracts the eye but also blurs the boundary of the organic and man-made.
Heralding from Shanghai, China, Leon Yan is a multi-talented artist who writes, directs and edits films. Leon’s work is cinematic in nature, and each scene he captures seems to carry a story or reflection within.
Nirav’s photographs reveal a man who captures the feelings that exist in joyous and quiet moments alike. Nirav’s subject matter is diverse, yet his photographic style maintains a clear, cohesive point of view by utilizing strong lines and lighting.
Street Etiquette is a trend-setting company rooted in fashionable menswear. Based in New York City, Street Etiquette exhibits a cultivated street style, while managing to still convey a down-to-earth perspective on fashion.
Brothers and partners in crime, Chris and Jon Schoonover’s aesthetic is bold and colorful, oftentimes bordering on the bizarre. Based out of the New York area, Chris and Jon’s images convey a sense of artistry and wonder.
Traversing the United States in his car, Kevin Russ is as much a modern day explorer as a photographer. Kevin captures quiet, nostalgic moments of life on the road, wildlife and rural environments.
Lauren Marek’s work has an organic sensibility that never feels forced and her documentation of everyday instances provide a much needed voice within modern photography. With an honest and decisive eye, Lauren documents her surroundings in her small but spirited hometown of Bellville, Texas.
Reigning from the San Francisco Bay area, Erik’s work pushes boundaries, incorporating intriguing forms and implementing various mediums. Colorful and conceptual, his pieces can be found in both city streets and established galleries. Erik’s use of reclaimed materials, coupled with his imaginative point of view, results in memorable, arresting art.
We are looking for active members of the VSCO creative community. Before you apply, download VSCO Cam®. Start a VSCO Grid. Share your work. Be involved.
Thank you for your submission. We review all applications; however, due to the sheer volume we cannot personally respond to all of them. If your project seems like a potential fit, we will contact you directly.
Does the artist retain rights to the work created for the VSCO Artist Initiative?
Yes. The artist retains ownership of their work. VSCO will have certain customary rights such as rights to display the work in various forms and locations, such as the VSCO website and apps, promotional materials, social media, books, and exhibitions.
How much money is allocated towards each project?
The scholarship amount varies for every project, based on factors such as scope of project, location and timeline.
When will I hear if my project has been selected for the Initiative?
Due to the sheer volume of applications, there is no firm timetable for a response. Additionally, we cannot personally respond to every submission. Thank you for your understanding. If your project seems like a potential fit, we will contact you directly.
How many projects will be selected?
As many factors will determine the amount of funded projects, there is no specific number of projects that will be selected.
Are group submissions allowed?
Yes, group submissions are allowed.
What is the selection process?
After the application has been received, the VSCO team will review submissions based on the following criteria:
Who is eligible?
Artists of all levels and locations are encouraged to apply.
To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age and reside in a jurisdiction where offering or accepting the awards described above would be lawful. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
What are the expectations of the artist?
Selected artists who choose to take part in the Initiative will be required to post images of the project on their VSCO Grid, supply content to be featured on the VSCO Journal, and collaborate with the VSCO team to create books, exhibitions or other various goods or projects.
What will VSCO provide to the selected artist(s)?
VSCO will supply financial and creative resources, mentorship and promotional resources.
Do all projects have to be photography based?
To reveal the creative process, all projects must be documented photographically on VSCO Grid. However, a project does not need to be photography based. Beauty can be found in all forms of creativity, and the Initiative scholarship fund is intended for a variety of artistic expressions: illustration, film, music, painting, photography, craft, design, mixed media, performance art, sculpture, new media, installation, etc.
Why am I required to have a VSCO Grid to apply?
Applicants are required to have a VSCO Grid for multiple reasons. We are looking for active members of the VSCO creative community, and maintaining a VSCO Grid is an ideal demonstration of this. Secondly, we believe the creative process is as important as the final result. Recipients are required to document their creative process on VSCO Grid to provide insight into their artistic journey.