Can't believe we are almost a month into Summer of Sketching already! I hope you've been enjoying it so far.
One major aim for the project is to foster a community of open-minded and adventurous artists. This week I wanted to touch on about why that aspect is so important, and share how you can find new friends who will help you elevate your game.
It's clear that some people have an easier time striking up conversations with strangers. But regardless of how uncomfortable that may be for you, this skill is necessary to any creative career or pursuit. Here are the top four things that can happen when you start proactively trying to make those new connections.
1. Collaborate on Projects
Do you know any other visual artists that live close by? Why not ask them if they are interested in making something together?
Over the past couple years, I've done collaborations large and small with other lettering artists, illustrators, photographers, film makers... most of which I met through the internet. Crazy right? With every single project, we end up surprising ourselves with the finished result and learning new techniques. None of these projects would have happened had I not reached out and asked.
2. Talk through Struggles
Putting yourself out there as an artist is never easy, especially if you are trying to make a living from it. Some people make it look so easy, but I promise you they have their own personal battles that they are not sharing for one reason or another.
Before I began to fully embrace my community, I didn't have many friends that understood these struggles. Now I have a small inner circle of friends who are all doing similar things with their art. I met many of these people through the internet and then in person at creative conferences / meet ups. We have created a safe space to unload and share things we have learned, or just listen. Having people around who 'just get it' is invaluable!
3. Challenge and Accountability
If you're like me, you work best by setting goals for your artistic endeavors, but sometimes have trouble following through on those commitments. I believe one great way to change that is to get around other creative people with similar interests and a good work ethic. When you have that network, they will push you to do things you never thought you were capable of.
4. Have fun
I keep coming back to this one every week. The whole point of this is to practice and learn while thoroughly enjoying the process. And it gets even more fun when you have others to share it with. I mean, how else are you supposed to make inappropriate jokes about drawing tools?
Action Step for you:
There are other curious artists out there, and I want to encourage you to meet up with them in person. Reach out to someone in your local area and ask them to go out and sketch with you this weekend. You'll be glad you did.
Summer of Sketching Brooklyn Meetup!
The next step in building this community is to start organizing events and meet ups. If you live in the NYC area, I am hosting a little rooftop shindig coming up soon. Details and RSVP on my email list.