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