Most artists have experienced the common feeling of solitariness that comes with being in the art field. Perhaps you live in an area where access to a community of artists isn’t available. Or maybe you feel unsure or uneasy about becoming involved with artists in your community because you’re just beginning or have differing styles.
Regardless of what seems to hold you back, a community of similarly minded individuals can help improve your painting practice. Profound conversations, revelations, and improvements can happen when an artist shares their thoughts and work with other artists. A receptive listener can turn into a supportive community where ideas and work can thrive.
So if you’ve been considering diving deeper into conversations and community with other artists, here are a few reasons why you definitely should.
Motivation and Inspiration
Meeting with a community of artists, whether it be two or twenty, can help to motivate you in your work. Whether it motivates you to push yourself a little harder with quality because your work will actually be seen, or if you’re motivated to finally finish a piece, this community can help you to accomplish those goals.
Gathering with other artists, whether online or in person, can help to boost your motivation and set intentional goals. Not only will a community of artists give you encouragement to get things done, but they can inspire you to try new things.
Some of the greatest ideas are built by experiencing other art and in conversations with other artists. Someone may have a way of saying or expressing something that opens your eyes in a new way. The more often you can have conversations about your and other’s art and the more often you can get in front of both contemporary and historical art, the higher your chances of sparking a new idea.
A community can inspire you to try new things and motivate you to actually do those new things.
A community of artists will help you to realize that the more people you know, the better. Now don’t think that this means you have to get to know only powerful, influential people. Rather, the more people in general that you meet and have honest, real conversations with, the more doors will start to open for you.
Many artists who may be farther down the road from you can help to give you wise advice, share tips and experiences, and even share your work. Artists often view other artists as their competition. However, this limiting thought process fails to account for the massive amount of non-artists who want to buy art. Someone else’s success does not limit yours, and a wise artist realizes this and shares their knowledge with others. So align yourself with some established artists who are willing to share experiences with you.
In return, there will always be artists who are just beginning that you can also share your experience with. Teaching and sharing your journey are both fantastic ways to solidify what you know and grow more confident in your skills. Be willing to share what you’ve learned and willing to learn what others are sharing.
Accountability and Feedback
If you are working from home at your art, chances are you’ve had moments where you lose motivation. When other artists aren’t seeing your work regularly, it’s easy to let things slide, work a little less intensely, or take shortcuts. A community of artists can help you to avoid this.
When you are surrounded by other artists, it’s less tempting to fall into bad habits. The accountability that comes from expectations in your community can help you to develop healthy habits and time management.
Feedback from this community of artists can also help you to grow and learn. While you should be careful to weigh technical advice you receive against what you are already learning, there are some great lessons to be learned from your peers. Often times, we can become blind to mistakes in our work, and a soft correction from a peer can be the eye-opener we need to continue growing.
Both accountability and feedback can be found in an artist community, and developing these relationships will ultimately help you to grow as an artist.
Where Can I Find This Community?
If you’ve felt isolated in your work for a long while, finding a community of artists can feel impossible. But here are a few places to look:
Community Art Groups
Check at your local library or community center for community groups for artists. A class can also be a good way to meet other artists in your area.
Art Fairs or Shows
Local art fairs and shows can introduce you to local artists. Attending an opening in your community and fostering conversations with other artists is a great start.
Facebook groups or other social media communities can be a great way to meet local artists and artists from around the world. They allow you to interact with highly established artists and peers. Of course with this access comes some drawbacks. Someone may seem well qualified, but really have very little to offer you. So be thoughtful about their impact on you and your art.
Evolve’s community was designed to solve this problem for isolated artists. Our live classes, homework groups, and facebook groups are designed to foster conversation, build community, and help artists to grow.
Community is essential for artists. Without it, you will miss opportunities to grow, change, and improve as an artist. Challenge yourself to discover new ways to build your artist community today!