What would make you open your wallet? < Deep Thought Thursday

What would compel you to become a member of an artist organization?
What benefits are you seeking?
What kind of leadership are you looking for?
What would make you write a check and join up?

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19 thoughts on “What would make you open your wallet? < Deep Thought Thursday”

  1. What would compel you to become a member of an artist organization?
    Value and drive compels me to become a member of an artist organization. Value that even if I don’t participate at the level I prefer, I KNOW that my buck will get a BANG! Drive in that ALL are motivated to move forward with their dream of being a creative and/or artist and WANT to do it SO MUCH that they are willing to pull others and be pulled.
    What benefits are you seeking?
    I am seeking to be pulled and be able to pull. I am seeking the inspiration to take one more small step even if the rest of the things have not seemed to work in marketing my art. The benefit of being with a group of creatives and artists is inspiring, and that inspiration helps push me to continue marketing my art. You see, the making of art is fun and easy. The marketing is what gets delayed.
    What kind of leadership are you looking for?
    I am looking for guides, not so much leaders. The mindset of “WE can do this! We are going to focus on ___ and this is what WE are going to do!” Very much like what the Conspiracy does…;) Also, leaders can be the person in charge of a “section,” or any one can be a leader. There does need to be ONE main guide…or yes, leader. This leader can herd, set focus, encourage, inform, and teach.
    What would make you write a check and join up?
    All the above. Even lately with my lack of participation (BUSY…and prefer to MAKE art in the little time available), I spend more cash on junk than the inspiration and guidance I get from one particular group. Joining up means that I found what I needed and wanted in answer the first three questions.

  2. Wonderful and timely topic – our local group is currently in the process of constituting and we want to offer much more than intially we can probably afford as a start-up group. Look forward to comments and expectations!

  3. Good refreshments (home made cookies move the org to the top of the list).
    I do well on my own so if I were to join an organization I would be looking to be surrounded by professionals that are focused on moving their careers forward by leaps and bounds. The positive energy of dedicated professionals is invaluable.
    Good networking opportunities and high quality exhibits are a bonus.

  4. I love the idea of an artist’s group for National/State and local levels. Groups where artists from all mediums can get together on a regular basis and share their art and ideas freely. A National convention where workshops are given that cover business concepts such as opening and running your own gallery; recordkeeping ideas; artist safety tips; marketing; time-management and other practical business practices that many artists find themselves challenged on in addition to creative workshops and how-to classes.
    I would be very interested in joining such a group — especially if the dues were reasonable and they had the ability to offer their members discounts on art supplies; travel; and medical/dental and life insurance premiums.

  5. I have started a women artists group in one city and joined one in another. The interplay and camaraderie of like minded people is a big part of my life. They afford exhibition opportunities, crit groups, learning experiences and speakers. I am looking for a similar group in south Miami. Pls email if you are part of one that is accepting new members.

    1. Marge,
      Miami, Florida or Miami, Ohio?
      Lived here my entire life, and Broward County groups beat the pants off any in Miami-Dade but for one: Life Is Art.
      If in Florida, try Googling for
      Life Is Art
      If you have time to do almost everything for them
      GroveHouse Artists
      Homestead Art Club*
      If you have resources and time for studio space
      Mano Fine Art (warehouse spaces)
      CANDO in Miami Beach
      *The only one that does “They afford exhibition opportunities, crit groups, learning experiences and speakers” on any consistent basis.
      If you find something different, please, please, please let me know!

  6. Great topic, one that I am sure we all think about. I like JJ’s comment.
    In SC we have http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/linc/index.shtml
    and through this we had a Ventures program that was like a summer 2 or 3 day camp that I attended in 2009. I enjoyed it so much. It was to me exactly what you were talking about. I don’t think they had the funding for it this year or I was “absent that day” when it was announced. I would love to do something like that again.

  7. What would compel you to become a member of an artist organization?
    It has immediate benefit for me, and also indications that it will be of long-term benefit for at least one year.
    What benefits are you seeking?
    a really useful newsletter I’ve already seen or heard of with info that is current, timely and relevant,
    a show I want to get into at an affordable price in a reasonably local area (“local” to me is within 150 miles in any direction from my home office)
    marketing support in the form of artist pages, info about markets for artwork,
    discussion among members about marketing and presentation of work and issues and resolutions they’ve encountered
    learning opportunities — an annual conference, workshops or the like
    What kind of leadership are you looking for?
    Quietly competent — people who know the market and the kind of work that artists do and who are knowledgeable about both of those,
    People who loves art as much as I do, and don’t want to see it disappear due to the exigencies of life with our economy
    People who make good sense — who always asks the who what where when and why questions and seeks out answers to those, even if the responses don’t fit their preconceptions,
    People – not one person.
    What would make you write a check and join up?
    All of the above plus finding out that the price of entry is reasonable – I am still scrambling hard to make a living, and pay a LOT of membership fees for less offering, just because I get part of the package in each of the ones I have now.
    An organization that is national or international in scope but which has local chapters operating in local economies and feeding information up to the other levels. Think Freecycle or Ag extension offices — they touch both the local and the global levels and provide conduit for members that is easily navigable to wider audiences and higher levels.

  8. The artist organization that will appeal to me will have effective interactions, include activities or interactions which will effectively enhance or improve me as an artist and artist-entrepreneur, encourage an exchange of ideas, information, mentoring, assisting and etc, encourage making new friends with other active artists… I think you get the idea.
    I am not a follower so leadership is not a word I find enticing. I suspect most artists are like this else we’d be in some other field. Guidance and advice and group administration is one thing but the word “leadership” implies “followers” and I balk at that.
    Once my interest is caught, I still have to be convinced that I am getting tangible value (even if the value itself is not tangible) for my payments. Given my financial circumstances, I need viable evidence that I will be spending my money effectively.
    Yummy snacks are good too. LOL

  9. What would compel you to become a member of an artist organization?
    Affordable health benefits, teeth included. Government representation, like any normal trade union would do. Legal support for all those contracts, copyrights and other papers. Accounting support.
    What benefits are you seeking?
    Health & Dental, probably discounts on art supplies and free access to museums.
    What kind of leadership are you looking for?
    Anarchic, flexible and everchanging. Purely administrative without even a hint of influencing art or any propaganda.
    What would make you write a check and join up?
    If the price would be worth the purchase.

  10. I joined the current local artist group I’m part of in Toronto because some
    painters I respected were members. I wanted the occasional companionship of fellow painters, regular sessions with models, and regular group shows in an attractive venue. I think the group gave me the boost and motivation that set me on the track of becoming a “real” artist, defining myself as an artist. I’ve joined, or been asked to join a couple of virtual groups for the intellectual value — intelligent discussions or articles about subjects that matter, and will always matter to me as a working artist. I’ve never been disappointed by any group I’ve joined for art. There is always something to learn that’s rewarding.

  11. A tricky question for me. I find myself more often than not finding reason not to join, based on past experience. Too many groups I’ve been in have been disorganised, hobbyists, women’s group (which I have an issue with, and will be leaving the one I’m in), or have no consistency in the quality of artwork shown. Alternatively organisations are very old but the age is clear in the leadership and they don’t seem to have any inclination to accept young or contemporary artists.
    I look for a long-running organisation, strong history, quality works on show at exhibitions and at least one regular exhibition a year, juried membership. Ones with a mission statement and plan for what they are trying to achieve – be it shows or just professional development and membership socialisation. It doesn’t have to be an exhibiting group if they have another interesting goal.
    And I don’t mind getting involved with organisation or leadership in time, in fact would enjoy it!, but when I get to know the group over time and see if it’s a good fit. But if they seem too keen on my graphic design or tech support skills I avoid it like the plague – I’ve been drafted in too many times just for that!

  12. What would compel you to become a member of an artist organization?
    I appreciate Irena’s response…a service oriented art’s organization sounds helpful…I would consider joining.
    I’m a member at the contemporary museum where I offer on-going studios. I also enjoy the participation in my monthly women’s art group where I’m a charter member. These, along with social media connections to artists and groups (like ArtBiz.com) are sufficient for the comradery that provides connection and spark through creative relationships.
    What kind of leadership are you looking for?
    I’ve been a gallery owner and an arts acitivst and involved in art groups and organizations of one kind or another over the many years of my career. Like many artists I’m not a joiner, per se, if I can’t find a ***meaningful reason*** to be involved I don’t join.
    Currently I learn and grow most directly and with keen focus simply by living my Art/Life and cruising through the community as an engaged artist taking the initative to offer my work and my community outreach programs wherever I sense a true fit.
    What would make you write a check and join up?
    Again I connect with Irena and the services that an organization could provide individual artists.

  13. I’m not really a joiner either, so I’ll just echo what Irena and Donna have said about service-oriented organizations. That would be the only kind of org. to potentially draw me in.

  14. Earning more to be able to spend more. The value and willilngness of it’s members to share and assist. A group that is more specific to my “genre” of design.

  15. An organization made of professionals for the purpose of marketing our art would meet my biggest need.
    I don’t need more to do, pointless meetings, organizations of feel-good/do-good/let’s-all-just-express-ourselves-through-our-personal-creativity, unending work of establishing non-profit status, countless fundraising that ALWAYS involves giving away pieces of one’s inventory, potlucks, and hobbyists needing someone to make them feel good about their work.
    I do need help marketing, great shows to participate in, information on sources (packaging materials, portable displays, sales on canvases, good printers, et cetera), ways to earn a better living with art, business related workshops, information about the business side of art.
    One of the best art organizations I’ve ever belonged to is the Colored Pencil Society of America. Very very professional – great conventions, very informative workshops and seminars, authentically nice people who are willing to share their experience, overall an active and relevant group of professional artists.
    In order to “write a check and join up”, I’d want to see the qualities of professionalism in an established group that offered tangible, useful and relevant information and benefits. (No, not health insurance!8-) )

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