June 26, 2010 | Guest Blogger

5 Reasons to Join and Be Active in an Artist Organization

Guest Blogger: Paula Lewis
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!

Paula LewisGuest blogger Paula Lewis, Scorched Eyebrow Studio, hand-fires and composes copper and vitreous enamel collages. She lives in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, near her childhood home and her mother, with her husband, Ken and her beautiful autistic daughter, Jessica.

8 comments add a comment
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • There’s strength in numbers. Connection is important in any profession and for life in general. Love the photo too!

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

    […] Alyson Stanfield has Five Reasons to Join and Be Active in an Artist Organization […]

  • Frank-Morgan Thomas

    Are you the CRIPPEN paula? This is Frank

  • Frank-Morgan Thomas

    I’m very “facebook” stupid! if so, friend me

  • […] What organizations are you associated with and in what ways? (member, officer, founder) How does each organization […]

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