This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
A common trait among artists is that of being somewhat solitary. Especially or particularly while creating. I know that I am. Many artist friends of mine are. Perhaps you are, too.
This is not a bad trait to have. In fact, it is probably necessary to enable you to focus on your work without distraction. I should clarify. I am not talking about being a recluse. That is different. But most artists work alone. Even if you are surrounded by other people most of the day, when you create your art, you are likely alone.
Think about it. We need a place and time to focus on art. We need to create. We need to allow our thoughts and feelings flow freely. We need to get lost in the zone. When the outside world interrupts this time, productivity is decreased. We artists also need to be able to freely explore our unique voice or vision, without the diluting influence of others.
So yes, there are many good reasons to be solitary while creating your work – including many which go unmentioned.
But, there are other needs that artists have that also need to be fulfilled from time to time. One of those needs is to be surrounded by other creative types. By associating with other artists, your mind can be opened up to new ideas. You can gain a sense of belonging. You are able to understand and be understood in ways that are impossible with non-creative types. It is a fraternity or sorority of sorts; a brotherhood and sisterhood of artists.
Consider joining a local or regional artists group or association. Go out painting with friends once a month or so. Attend a plein air event. Maybe, you simply have brunch together with other local artists. Perhaps you join a critique group.
It is sometimes less important what you do while you are with fellow artists than simply associating with them. You will benefit tremendously by having friends who understand and relate to you. You can “talk shop” with them. You will gain confidence that you are on the right path. You will have added (and much needed) support and encouragement.
You are part of a brotherhood and sisterhood of artists. Why not reap the benefits? But, don’t forget to go back to your solitary studio once in a while to create the work only you can create.
PS There are many other reasons for associating with fellow artists from time to time. What are your reasons? What have you gained? What have you contributed?