It occurred to me tonight that I am starting to follow an old pattern, but in a new way. Without even giving much thought to it, I have been starting to join diverse artist communities in the area and also to try to create or strengthen the artist community in my own town.
Now, part of me is going, “why would you want to put your time and effort into strengthening a community when you could be using that same time and effort in your studio and marketing of your own work?” While another part of me is just bound and determined that it is important to get the artists in our town in the same space to ‘art’ (used as a verb) together, at the same time in a regular fashion. I was musing over the strange dichotomy in my mind tonight when it suddenly clicked for me that community, in any form, is something that I have been quietly passionate about for a long time.
Ever since I lived in my first small apartment building in Calgary, the power of community has been evident to me. This little building had about 12 apartments in it, and most of us were fairly young, so we started to party together as we seemed to get along. And then, it started to go further than that. We started to look out for one another, and help each other out. It was a great comfort to know that there was someone to take me to the doctor when I needed it, and that we kept an eye out for bad apples in the building. We had each other’s backs.
An artist community can do much the same thing. We socialize like no others, because we are all just a little whacky (in a fun-loving sort of way, of course!). I have had some great laughs just sitting and painting in a house in Mountain View with a bunch of other artist broads. And we help each other; we take a look at each other’s work and encourage, give appropriate ooh’s and aaah’s, and when asked we will give kind, diplomatic advice on a painting that has stalled. Artists that have been in the ring for a number of years also have great advice for newbies on how to sell, where the good shows are, and what to avoid when starting out.
So, I know I bitch and complain at times when it comes to the volunteer work I do to set up shows and events for artists to get out there and hopefully make a sale or two. But in the end, I have a feeling I will keep doing it, because community is important to me, and art is important to me. Who knows, maybe I might get really good at it and make it profitable someday.
Happy Spring, everyone!
Take care, and lets chat again soon….lol.