On Community

Art is a solitary practice. It is necessary to mine the depths of one’s own history, emotions and thoughts to create authentic works that reflect a unique perspective. It requires time for doing nothing, staring into space, doodling and daydreaming. It can be isolating, and even depressing.
As part of your practice you must build connections. Visit other artists studios, go to their openings, comment on their works on social media, and listen to their struggles and learn from their successes. Most are eager to share things they have learned and are happy to find a kindred spirit. Museum dates, lunch talks, and even ‘painting parties’ are part of my practice, and have built bonds between me and many artists I would never have met without a set intention to connect with creative people. This vital part of the practice is actually great fun.
If you have followed the full five days of my posts, you should see how the components of the practice work together. Being a part of a community of like-minded makers is vital to finding inspiration for the new, validation for the work we are doing and support during the hard times. Don’t be afraid to talk to artists you admire or ask questions about their work. You will learn more from other artists than you did in school, and you will make real friends in the process.