Whether you’re just starting out as an artist or have been in the business for a while, you likely get a bit lonely or frustrated from time to time. The good news is, you are not alone. If you’re looking for an empathetic ear or for more opportunities to promote your work, an artist community can provide the ideal forum. The question is: how to find said community?
Join Up Online
The first, and easiest, step to getting involved with other artists is going online. With as little effort as possible (seriously – you don’t even have to get dressed!), you can be connected with creative and eager-to-help individuals from around the world. Whether you are looking for supportive discussions or a forum to showcase your work, these sites are great places to start. Some communities are great for art in general, while others tend to be more specific in their focus. To find the one for you, simply type “online art community” into your favourite search engine and you will have no shortage of options to check out.
We’ve found some of the biggest and best sites to get you started:
- Professional, wide-ranging: Behance Network
- Photography: 500px
- Digital: DeviantArt
- Design-driven: Coroflot
- Online portfolios: Carbonmade
- International, multi-genre: Bluecanvas
- No-fuss forums: WetCanvas
Most communities, large and small, have some sort of art-focussed association. Whether it’s an art festival or a workshop run by the local community college, it’s worth looking close by for a good opportunity. If your town has an arts newspaper (usually free!), it can offer easy access to finding out what’s happening near you.
Be a Good Neighbour
Word of mouth is hugely important in the art world, and that extends to more than simply creating buzz about your creative works. How you represent yourself at showings and online will absolutely follow you throughout your career – it’s the rare case indeed in which an artist becomes so successful and in demand that he or she can afford to be rude or unaccommodating. If you are professional and friendly in your everyday dealings, your personality and behaviour can go a long way toward having fellow artists and critics remember you in a favourable light, making them more likely to recommend you for future features or commissions.
Make it Happen
Not satisfied with the exposure you are receiving or with the events going on around you? Well, you’re an artist – be creative! Take your sketching or painting outdoors or arrange a small showing with some friends. There are always competitions going on, as well, so make sure you are keeping your finger on the pulse of upcoming events by staying connected through Twitter, Instagram and some of the communities we mentioned above. Opportunity won’t necessarily come seek you out, but it’s always out there waiting to be found!