Any artist knows that one of the keys to success is to surround yourself with others who are in the same boat. Whether you’re seeking feedback on your work, advice on the business side of things, or just a few friends who will attend events with you, building a network of supportive, like-minded people is immensely important if you’re serious about making art for a living. Starting from scratch can be intimidating, but have no fear: we’ve put together a few ideas to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Attend a monthly meet-up for creatives.
New support groups for artists, makers, and small business owners are cropping up all the time: if you do a bit of research, you’ll have no trouble finding a meeting in your area to attend regularly. One example is Rising Tide Society, a community for creatives with chapters in nearly every major city in the U.S. (and several international chapters as well) that meet monthly for Tuesdays Together to socialize and share knowledge. If listening to a short inspirational talk and eating breakfast with other creatives once a month sounds more like you, check out CreativeMornings.
2. Take a class.
If you’ve been itching to learn a new medium or technique, kill two birds with one stone and find a place that offers group classes: you’ll end up with a new skill and new artist friends, too. For New Yorkers, BHQFU is a tuition-free institution that offers art courses on a semesterly basis as well as public exhibitions and artist studio residency programs. For a more laid-back atmosphere, look for a Drink N’ Draw event in your area—though you typically have to pony up a few bucks to pay for your beer and the live models you’ll be drawing, the experience is well worth it.
3. Commit to a project.
There’s nothing like being surrounded by a group of people all working towards a similar goal to keep you motivated. Try embarking on an Instagram challenge such as The 100 Day Project—by checking out #the100dayproject, you can connect with other participating artists and support each other along the way. You can even take it a step further and join The Creative Collective, a 15-week program for people who want more structure, accountability, and support during their 100 days of creating.
4. Submit to a publication, a showcase or a juried show.
Our final suggestion for artists who want to build their communities is getting your work out there. Whether it’s submitting a piece to a publication such as Makers Movement, a magazine published twice a year that celebrates creatives and their work, or responding to an open call for a chance to have your work featured in a live exhibition, you’re sure to meet like-minded people and increase your audience in the process. Check out these resources for opportunities:
Happy community building, artists!
top image// @sergioheads