Community means different things to different people. From an artist’s perspective it tends to be a space occupied with friends, peers, collaborators and partnerships.
We’ve always had a very robust artist community here, and it seems that it’s rare to enter an online creative space without bumping into someone who has their art on Redbubble. As far as social media options go, people tend to spend their time on the main platforms of Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I won’t go into a big breakdown of the pros and cons of each one as I’m sure we all have our own unique experiences.
Having worked from a home studio for over 10 years I found myself leaning on the virtual communities a lot over time. There are definite advantages to this (especially when you’re working with people in different time zones and find yourself keeping irregular hours), but after awhile I found myself missing the additional connection that an in person community connection offered. But then it doesn’t have to be one or the other, and for me I’ve found a combination of the two is a good balance.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes we just really don’t want to be around people, and that’s totally fine. And depending on what’s going on in our lives and can actually be too complicated or intense to be around people as well. But maintaining a virtual connection to others can be vital during those difficult times, it can be a nice distraction from your troubles, and a good space to talk about things that aren’t always easy to talk about face to face.
Depending on where you are in the world it’s currently not easy (or even legal) to physically hang out with other artists, but I have seen people interacting more with artists local to them, online for now, and it’s nice to think that when restrictions lift and some freedom of movement returns that there might be an increase in physical art hangouts. I’m a big fan of the old Drink & Draw sessions (and it doesn’t have to be with booze, I know a group who hit the milkshakes pretty hard).
I’ve been speaking with other artists I know about different things that can potentially be done to help artists connect with each other in a positive setting, and we’ll have another collaborative blog coming soon to share some of those ideas.
If you have any art community spaces that you enjoy (online or offline) and feel like sharing then please drop some details in the comments below. And if you have any ideas about ways to create positive community connections then I’d love to hear that as well.