Many artists do not have sideline cheerleaders in the form of friends or family. Some people just don’t get us! If you’re in this predicament, you must seek or establish your own cheering squad.
[ I invite you to find support, accountability, and business strategies in the Art Biz Connection. ]
Without some kind of support system, you will find yourself beaten down and constantly on the defensive. Sometimes you can obtain such support by getting involved in existing artist organizations. If you aren’t familiar with one in your area, contact your local or state arts council, which you can find in the resources of the National Assembly of State Art Agencies.
Being around other artists builds your confidence and sustains you emotionally. In addition, you will hear about opportunities you never knew existed if you hadn’t been part of a group. You’ll hear about them before they are ever published!
You will also be eligible to apply for grants, awards, and exhibitions sponsored by the organization; be introduced to new art products and materials; and receive business advice in many areas (software, accounting, taxes, copyright, and more).
Most importantly, with the right organization, you’ll make contacts that lead to the next step on your career path, many of which will become your friends for life.
Look for the Right Artist Organization
Before you join an organization, make sure it’s a good fit for you. Don’t join just for the sake of joining, which can end up being a waste of time and money. Attend meetings as a guest and consider where you might fit in.
Before you join an organization, you should conduct research. (A complete checklist of questions to ask is in the book, page 163-64.)
You aren’t joining just to be a member. You are joining to become involved. If you’re uncomfortable in an organization, you won’t reap the benefits of your membership. If you can’t find the right fit in an existing organization, bring together a group of artists who meet regularly for the purpose of supporting each other.
The more you’re connected with other artists, the more opportunities you’ll discover.