Community is something many of us do not get enough of these days, due to all the risks and fears and restrictions of the Covid pandemic. And most artists do benefit from some community with other artists, not just friends and family.
I have lacked this sense of community most of my life. Prior to the pandemic, I had some small sense of an arts community for many years, but this was limited. A small group of friends met weekly to make art. Most of the group did not share my dedication to almost daily art. Rather they enjoyed a more limited commitment, and worked primarily during our two hour weekly meetings. So our sessions were social and the friendship was wonderful, but was not quite satisfying as community with other artists. And our weekly sessions were suspended in 2020.
I suppose that making, of one sort or another, has become something of a passion for me, even when I do not exhibit my work. Some pieces hang in my home & studio, some are gifted, some are simply stored! I do find it hard to use the word “passion” about myself. Like many “Brits”, I was not brought up to acknowledge any passions in a serious way :-)! But my immersion in making is real, and important to me.
Like many artists, I enjoy working alone. I am an introvert, but … introverts still want friends and community. We just need time alone as well, maybe a lot of time alone! But I absolutely enjoy sharing time and conversation with other like minded artists or with supportive members of the arts community. One good reason to show art is to generate contact with others with an interest in art! Friends and family may be wonderfully supportive, but I find that their interest and involvement in my work is limited. So I need to seek out some community with other artists.
Recently an acquaintance I have not seen in years happened on my current art exhibit, and reached out by email to tell me that she enjoyed my work. This was lovely to hear, and we sent a reply or two back and forth. Here is part of my correspondence.
I had an interest and desire to be an artist since I was a child, but only started making art late in life. So I am not tired of it yet. It does help that I have ended my involvement in Northwinds (volunteering) and do not enter juried shows. Juried shows may have helped me early on to start showing my work, but I came to find them crazy making and unpleasant.
Now I don’t think about shows much; this one just fell in my lap when I had a lot of work ready to display. Shows are definitely a source of anxiety, but can be fun when friends are there to help out.
In 2019 I had an open studio, and that was easier because I have high ceilings and hang my work up anyway. So some anxiety and work getting ready cleaning!), but I really enjoyed that weekend. I am hooked on the actual art making part most of the time, but wish I had an assistant or two to help keep my studio in order, or to be on hand when I am in the middle of a tricky process… like the big time artists!
For me it (making art) is still fun, and I keep to minimal ambition and low expectations for sales since I don’t need the money! A little positive feedback goes a long way.
Thank you for reading/listening. Covid has certainly limited my “sharing” with other artists and participants in the art world.