Sometimes it feels like finding the right artists to connect with is like posting a want ad, or like going on a dating website. It would be wonderful if people walked around with descriptions about their personality and art attached to their social media profiles so we’d know straightaway if they were a “good fit” for creative accountability and critique.
Us creatives can be such hermits: we get so caught up in our artwork that we forget how to reach out and find these other like-minded artists. I’ve offered some ideas on building your own community already, so today let’s talk about what you should look for in your creative accountability community.
5 Steps to Find Like-Minded Creatives
(1) Find someone you think is a bit advanced compared to you in areas you feel you are weak.
If we want to raise our creative bar by being around people who lift us up and who help us achieve more, we need to identify where we want to grow as an artist. Then we can seek people who have that knowledge or skill set. If you are lucky the people you seek also need support within an area of their own artist practice. You can both share your strengths with one another to become better artists!
(2) Be sure the people you work with are receptive to criticism.
Let’s be clear here: I don’t mean judgment. Everyone finds judgment difficult. Criticism, when talking about art, is about getting feedback about formal decisions you make in your art or receiving input on business choices you consider to build your dream art life. If someone doesn’t want to hear what you have to say about their use of value in the painting or never seems to want to learn from you, then they are not going to raise your creative bar.
(3) Get everyone to take a quiz on mindset, like this one or this one.
You only want people with a growth mindset in your group because people with growth mindset are open to learning and change. Be very reticent to include someone with a fixed mindset unless you are convinced they wish to change and develop a growth mindset. All members should contribute to your community in a positive way. Fixed mindsets often operate from a place of scarcity and do not raise people up, but can hold people back from their hopes and dreams.
(4) Be honest about your goals and dreams.
If you don’t feel you can share your true goals and dreams the people you choose to be around likely feel the same way. If you want a creative accountability team or a creative critiquing community to work, you all need to make a commitment to honor your time together. You must find a community that allows you to say the things you need to say and voice dreams and fears that feel silly, out of reach, etc. It’s the only way to set the bar for you to reach for it!
(5) Create group ground rules together.
Once you think you’ve found your people it’s important to create shared ground rules that everyone adheres to… this includes things like: agreed upon trial runs for new community members, structure of critique, when and where to meet, who leads critiques (take turns?), goals for group, etc. It’s great to find people, but if no one shows up for the monthly critique you aren’t going to get anywhere with your art.
It isn’t easy to find artists to connect with, but finding an artist isn’t the only consideration when building an artist community to raise your creative bar: you need to find the right kind of artists. Be sure to work with these five steps to ensure you are setting the bar high. You deserve to surround yourself with people who will hold you to your hopes and dreams.
“Use these five steps to find the right kind of artists for your creative accountability.” (Click to Tweet)
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: List five people you wish you could collaborate with when it comes to your art. What is one step you can take right now to start building that relationship? Tell us in the comments below.
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This is a wonderful and necessary topic, thank you so much! I think once you are out in the world on your own, no longer in college life, it can be more challenging to find your kindred spirits – whether they be writers, painters, songwriters, etc. These are great guidelines for how to connect with the right folks.
I think another important point is knowing WHERE to meet other artists. Folks might check out any of the following resources:
Artists: your local art association or council, art classes, art based meet ups, community galleries
Musicians/Songwriters: check with the local music store about local songwriting groups, open mic nights, music based meet ups
Writers: local writing workshops through adult ed, writers’ meet ups
There are also TONS of interest based groups on Facebook, Google +, Tumblr, etc.
Thanks again for this great topic!
Great tips Amy. The where can definitely be a challenge! Thanks for reading 🙂
These are good points! It really speaks to the importance of being able to be open and sharing. And it definitely could be a life-long process to find like-minded creatives!
Hi Youhjung! Yes, I totally agree. And as we change and grow over time we may seek different creative support. Just as art is a lifelong practice so is the journey of finding and maintaining connections. Thanks for reading!
Great tips but I know no one that I would want to collaborate with off the top of my head, what would be an alternative?
You need to seek people out Roberta if you have no one in your immediate circle. Find a meetup in your hometown if there is one. Or seek a community online. For example, I run a facebook group where people are really connecting, getting quality feedback and support. It takes time, but if you really want feedback and support, make the effort to find a space where you feel safe to be you. You and your art deserve it.
I also talk about your question in this article: http://www.artiststrong.com/10-ways-to-raise-your-creative-bar/
<3 Best wishes to you!
I’m definitely more musically based but I also do alot of dramatic performance and philosophy. Definitely interested in making a different kind of scene. This was helpful.
Sure thing, thanks for reading Ian.