5 Reasons to Join and Be Active in an Artist Organization

Guest blogger Paula Lewis shared these insights back in 2010.

Except for the few artists who have reached the level of success that enables requires help from assistants to keep up with the demand for their work, we artists are a lonely bunch.

Solitude is good for creativity, but only up to a point.  Community, education, critique, support, and inspiration are good for our work and our psyches.

Join an artist organization and you’ll see what’s in it for you. Here are a few of the reasons I cherish membership in the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

1. Market Influence

A guild or organization can work to build the overall market for fine art and fine craft.  The momentum of the group will benefit everyone.

Paula Lewis, April's Promise
Paula Lewis, April's Promise. Vitreous enamel on copper, 11 x 15 inches (including frame).

2. Business Advice

Record-keeping, setting prices, dealing with galleries, and liability insurance are examples of the kinds of issues that can be addressed by guild members that come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience.

3. Fresh Perspective

Viewpoints from artists working in multiple media help identify with whom your work resonates and why. Knowing more accurately what your most likely client looks like helps you effectively allocate scarce resources (time and money.)

4. Confidence Building

Many of us are visual, not verbal, so being asked to speak or write about our work can be a special challenge.  Practice with your fellow artist-members enables you to speak more easily with non-artist potential clients.

5. Revitalized Muse

If you are “stuck,” you are not making art, which means you are not going to have any art to sell. Shared creative energy is a priceless benefit of joining a guild.

Join an organization that is media-diverse, multi-generational, and embraces a broad spectrum of styles. You will find your creativity constantly jostled, your contact (client) list expanding, and your ability to speak comfortably and cogently about your own work significantly improved.

Oh, you will also make fabulous new friends and feel more strongly connected to your community – good deal!

My Take

I couldn't agree more that being involved with an artist organization can be a boon to your business and career. But it needs to be the right one for you. 

See Dysfunctional v. Healthy Artist Organizations

And if you can't find one in your community, please consider joining me and other intentional, committed artists  in The Art Biz Connection.

Join the Art Biz Connection - get the details

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8 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Join and Be Active in an Artist Organization”

  1. HJM art gallery

    Great advice! I found a very supportive on-line community on the site I am selling my art and on facebook. However, I do think that face to face, personal interactions and communications with other artists are very important.

  2. I can think of many more benefits to joining an art group. The main ones for me are friendships and contacts made, and opportunities to learn and improve, and to show my work. Another side benefit is the opportunity to volunteer to help run the organization, which is also a tremendous learning opportunity.

  3. I also am a member of the PA Guild of Craftsmen and they have been very helpful to me. I’ve gotten help setting up my first workshops and the Guild loves to promote their members’ work!

  4. Pingback: Links – July 2, 2010 « Beautiful Flower Pictures Blog: Floral Photography by Patty Hankins

  5. Pingback: Brag Better About Your Art, About You — Art Biz Blog

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