You thrive on quiet hours of contemplation, long walks with your dog (or cat if you’re skilled enough to have trained it), and a good cup of tea. Normally your studio mate is an NPR host or a long-dead composer.
If your only interaction with other creatives is an online forum, however, you are missing out on finding inspiration. These seven amazing things that you can gain from new forms of in-person artist inspiration could propel your skills, and your career, higher.
New ideas. Often times it takes a new set of eyes to see what your design has been missing or a better way to tell your story. Finding inspiration by meeting with other creatives and showing off your new piece or discussing your goals can help generate a slew of new ideas, both for you and for them.
Shared energy. It’s similar to the hive mentality, but when one artist gets excited about their project, everyone else does too! Shared excitement is a great form of artist inspiration.
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Encouragement. Artists want artists to make art. They don’t care that it’s not practical, socially acceptable, financially solvent, "in," or whatever else other people (like your mother) might say. They are your biggest sources of artist inspiration and the ones wishing you the most success. Just think how much more you could accomplish with your own cheer squad!
Gather new artists. As your group grows, finding inspiration will only get easier because other artists will trickle in. New talents will join the pool and the community itself will begin to notice your group. What better way to support artist inspiration and fun than with community support and a ton of artists?
Group shows. Two people have more leverage than one and a group of artists has amazing leverage, not to mention connections. Use that to get gallery space, a jazz night at a restaurant, a set of workshops for the community, special guests to talk at your gatherings. There are so many more opportunities available to you in a group.
You are not alone. Being alone is fine when your work is flowing smoothly, but it’s a different story when you hit a wall or are having a tough time finding inspiration. With a group, they’ve all been there before and know just what you need. They can offer new ideas, sympathy, a kick in the pants, or a nice cup of tea.
Collaboration. There are SO many skills that you have and equally SO many that you don’t. If you are part of an artist group, the odds are much more in your favor that you can find someone wonderful with whom to collaborate! That art print locket you always wanted to make – well, lucky you, there’s a jeweler there! Or that children’s workshop for pottery you always wanted to teach? Well, there just happens to be another ceramicist who’s also a third-grade teacher! The possibilities for artist inspiration are endless when there is endless talent available.
The life of an artist embraces solitude, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also embrace community. No man is an island, after all. Finding inspiration in a group of similar-minded people will give you more confidence, more support, more career possibilities, and, most importantly, more fun! So start looking for the existing art groups in your community and if you can’t find one – start one!
Photo Credit: Teahouse Studio