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Finding Your Peeps

by Luann Udell on 1/22/2010 3:15:49 PM

This post is by guest author, Luann UdellThis article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Someone commented on my recent post, “RUNNING WITH THE PACK”. She said she hadn’t found her “peeps” yet, which inspired this post today.

I love the word “peeps”. For me, they still conjure up visions of yellow marshmallow chicks at Easter time. I guess both “peeps” have things in common: Stickiness!

Here’s a good tip for finding your tribe. The next time you find yourself preparing a a major step forward, look to see who’s right there with you.

I give this advice every time I teach on workshop on professional development skills. I end every presentation with this suggestion….

“Look around you. You came today because you wanted to take the next step in your own growth as an artist.

You’re in a group that self-selected for the same thing! You’re all in the same tribe.

Did you feel a connection with someone today? Did you like what someone had to say? Exchange contact info, and get together. Maybe even form your own support group!”

In fact, whenever you take any big step in a new direction, take note of the company you’re in.

I took hospice training earlier this year. Some of you may remember the essay I wrote early on describing that incredible sensation of connection I felt with this group.

It was no coincidence–people taking that training have come to a certain point in their lives. We were ready to be a part of something different and new. We formed a nexus, and felt a sort of recognition in each other. We’d never met before, but we traveled this same road together in search of something powerful and compelling.

We were not strangers to each other. “I know you!” we each thought.

We had become members of a strange new tribe.

You, too, may find your tribe in this way. Or in other strange places. When you are open, truly open, to the work that is in your heart, you are also open to new opportunities. New adventures. New people.

Not all will stick. But some will.

Your tribe. Your peeps!


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Running With The Pack

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Topics: Opportunities | Productivity 

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Lori Woodward
Luann, I especially like the part here about making connections and forming your own support group. I miss our meetings (yes folks, Luann and I met in person for a couple of years) to support each other and brainstorm. She's a totally brilliant, creative, and encouraging person. I learned a lot from her.

Sharon Weaver
I have been wanting to extend my tribe outside of my comfort zone which seems to consist mostly of fellow artists and friends. Thanks for the push. Other interests can be cultivated, introducing a cross pollination of peeps.

Connecting with other people is so important.
It always increases the level of my skill and boosts my confidence.

Diane Tasselmyer
Luann, One thing that came to my mind as I was reading your post was about negative and positive people in life.
I think part of finding your tribe has to be connecting with those who have the positive personalities. Perhaps it is partly that "positiveness" that draws you to a person of like mindedness in the art field. That positive energy and enthusiam is what sparks my interest in adding another tribe member.

Carol Schmauder
Thanks for the wonderful advice, Luann. I participate in a group for a studio art tour each fall and it is inspiring to connect with people that are on the same mission-to create art and bring happiness to others. We support and uplift each other with positive reinforcement.

Tuva Stephens
It can be very rewarding to make connections with others by attending workshops, and joining art organizations. There is so much we can share with each other. I really liked the suggestions you shared with the group. I hope I have permission to borrow that for a workshop I will be teaching in March.

Carole Rodrigue
I'm still looking for my peeps, but I think I'm starting to identify some. And honestly, I think we might just want to start looking in our own backyard. That's where I'm starting to find them, and it's great when you start connecting. Hopefully, I start connecting with many more!

Helen Horn Musser
Luann, Your courage is admirable. Preparing to bring comfort to another's suffering and passing to the unseen world would be a noble undertaking. You will ease pain and anxiety with these skills. No one should have to face eternity alone.

Judy Mudd
It is amazing how connected you feel to others with the same interest. When doing online networking, they say to get into groups that have an interest to you, not necessarily art groups. I have an interest in disability advocacy, real estate, service animals, computer technology--these are areas where I would seek others with the same interest and where I might find those interested in my art.

Kathy Chin
I too admire your courage in wanting to be part of Hospice...not many people could do what you're doing.
You're right about how one feels when connecting connect with others who share the same interests...there's excitement, passion for the subject, exchange of ideas, as well as often encountering the same challenges. And the conversations are never quiet and reserved, but animated and enthusiastic! Certainly you find yourself wanting to spend more time with them, to keep feeling that "aliveness."
Joining art groups has led me to the "peeps" you talked photography and happiness has improved because of it.

Kathy Chin
duh...have improved...that's what i get for not double-checking my post before submitting it!

Carol Schmauder
This is off the subject, but my daughter works for Hospice of Spokane, and I did a fund raiser for them ending December 31 giving some of the proceeds from sales of my art to them. It was gratifying to help out such a great organization. I plan to do the same thing this year. Not only did it help them, but it also introduced me to new people and them to my art work.

Esther J. Williams
I am opening up my awareness more to connect with people around me as I become involved in groups, events, associations, receptions, walks with my dog, etc...It amazes me how easy it is to say hello and start a conversation, then interact, next thing I know there is interest in my art. It`s good to be an artist, we naturally attract interest from people. Might as well take advantage of an opportunity in your daily walks through life.
On my hikes with a wilderness group, I always tuck a few business cards in my back pocket, I usually give them all out. Since I actually paint the landscapes we hike through, these naturalists love my art. I have connected with quite a few people that way.
I just volunteered to help with a Grad night fund raiser/food tasting event and am donating a painting to the silent auction. I will attach a small biography to the back of the painting and also prop one up next to the painting on the table with business cards to take. I think that is a great way to get some interest from the high school parents who happen to be there that night. Several paintings have sold this way before at fundraisers, although the money goes to the charity, I am getting my name out there. You never know when the phone will ring asking for another painting.
Now if I can just get my Chihuahua to stop barking her fool head off at other dogs, I could stop and chat with other dog walkers on my long morning beach walks!

Fay Terry
I think having a passion for painting makes it easy to find more and more people to connect with. It also seems easier, maybe because of all the time I spend away from other people, to make new friends. They always seem excited about my work and I am interested to learn about what they do.
I took a wonderful workshop last week and the group of artists was so supportive of each other and we will definitely keep in touch.

Karen Blackwood
I just happened upon this article and could relate because I've recently moved from CA where I felt connected to my "peeps" in the California Art Club to Michigan where I have not yet found my "peeps". I've met lots of really nice people but no serious artists. And then I found FASO and I feel connected to my "peeps" again! I'll keep reaching out when I'm not busy painting in my studio which is exactly where I now need to be. Karen Blackwood

Lisa McKnett Dale
Oh great article,
I am looking for new "peeps" as we plan to move to the Seattle area. I have some ideas, but do any of you have recommendatins?

Spencer Meagher
Is it fair to say those that admire and collect your work could be considered "peeps"? It doesn't just have to artists, does it?


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