Being An Artist Shouldn’t Mean Always Being Alone
Category : Arts
Often those who are artists are quite happy with their own company and that’s perfectly fine. We have our art, our own company and our creations … but sometimes we need more. However, for some, we can feel a little lonely or isolated and there are definitely benefits to hanging out with other artists.
By connecting with other artists, it can benefit us in many ways, which means if we are happier in ourselves and our business, that then reflects in our art and our businesses. I’ve learnt many years ago that a happy and healthy business owner (and artist) equates to a healthy business. If we, as human beings are unwell, unhappy or languishing, then rarely does business (and especially a creative business like an art business) flourish and thrive at that time.
So here are my reasons why I believe that it’s great to seek out the companionship of other artists:
Quite simply, having kindred spirits who know what we face, the challenges and also the wins. It’s nice to have someone to share with who is like-minded and ‘gets’ us. That companionship or friendship may well go past art to dinners out, trips to the movies or check out a local art show happening.
There are always new things coming out, new technologies, or new products. Rather than thinking I’ll keep that bit of knowledge to myself, consider sharing it with your art buddy (or buddies). Hopefully, they too will share and you will pick up bits of knowledge too.
You’re having problems with a particular medium or sourcing a certain product. Wouldn’t it be great to ask your art friends – so where do you get that now? I’ll bet someone knows and again, sharing that info helps others and doesn’t mean it’s taking away from you. Ditch any scarcity mentality and embrace that there are enough opportunities out there for everyone.
Someone to Vent to
Another artist will understand your frustrations. Even just the act of venting and getting it off your chest is always helpful. Your artist friend may (or may not) have the solution, but sharing the frustration and getting it out there means it’s not festering in your mind, becoming worse and worse.
Motivating Each Other
For an artist, motivation can be very hard. The professional artist usually has a routine and system whereby they produce on a consistent and regular basis. They may have hours of the day or days of the week that they just get in there and get things done. However, not all of us are that disciplined, especially where we won’t starve to sell, have another job, other responsibilities (like family) or very fortunately have enough money that selling isn’t crucial to putting food on the table. However, you know you want to produce and sell your art, so remaining motivated is a great way. As a business coach myself (and artist) I often work with clients to help keep them motivated and on track. That might be by discovering what distracts them, why they procrastinate, or what stops them from being time efficient in their art business. Human contact is often great for morale.
Having someone you share accountability with is great, such as an ‘accountability buddy’. If you don’t have that, then there are other tools, such as a rather cute little app called Forest. Once you get the swing of it, it does help you become more focussed on what you need to do. Remember though always to focus on what is important. If you have a million paintings or art pieces in your studio, then perhaps your focus should now be on marketing and selling before you continue to build your stock. Work out what is important and then focus on that.
If you have artistic buddies and they (or you) get an opportunity for something that either doesn’t fit your style, timeline, goals or direction, then perhaps you (or they) can pass on that opportunity to the other. Rather than letting it go to a stranger, share it with a friend and help them. Good karma comes around and who knows, you might have something nice come your way one day.
What’s the next step?
So, if you’ve identified that you’re needing to expand your personal network or simply need to stop being a creative hermit, then there are a few things you can do:
- Reach out to a friend (who ideally has an artistic interest) and just organise a social event
- Check out upcoming events and social gatherings or expos and go. Even better, invite a friend, but if you don’t, just make a point of mixing and mingling with the people there. Quite frequently many of the artists are also present. They are real people, just like you and me, and often quite happy to have a chat.
- Join an art social group or even an artist club or art association. There sure are likely to be other people just like you who attend meetings and go to events.
- Do an art class – potentially for fun, or to learn a new technique. I’ve done a few of these over the years and they can be really interesting, informative and socially fruitful.
- As the Nike motto goes ‘Just Do It’.
Like any solopreneur or sole business owner, it can be lonely in the business being closed away and particularly during COVID, often without very much human contact. Staying safe is important, however, ensure that your own safety includes some human stimulation.
Wishing you every success with your art business. Donna.