Creating Energy with Artist Communities: A Guest Post by Kelley Brown
While studying art in school, I was surrounded by 20-30 other like-minded students—students who lived and breathed creativity. The energy level was palpable in the studio, and I never had a drought of ideas. After graduating and beginning full-time work however, that energy was no longer present in my life. I had to find a way to create that same energy, I had to build my own artist community.
My solution:art nights, artist dates, and blogging.
Drawing on the great artist salons of the past, I have gathered a group of friends (although they do not all identify as artists they are all artists) and we host monthly art nights. Art nights at their core are a group of great people, food, and art making. Each month a different person hosts art night at their house, we have a potluck, and after filling our bellies, we make art—however we define that. Recently I hosted a journal-binding party at my house, and we plan on art nights serving as a venue for our newly launched art journal round robin.
Artist dates, as I define them, are less about making art, but more about soaking in creativity. Getting out, and going to shows, to openings, to museums—soaking in other's creativity, and talking about it with other artists.
Last but not least, there is blogging. With the internet, our artist community has no bounds, and there is infinite creativity. Browsing the blogging community, you will be inspired to see what people are doing. Creating your own blog, you begin to get "followers" and comments—little affirmations that what you are doing is important. It is like a virtual critique, but without the negativity that can sometimes be found in art school. From this virtual community, a real community is born as you begin to participate in swaps and round robins—the gap is bridged and the relationship is tangible as you hold artwork in your hand from someone miles away!
For me, each of these solutions has provided me the creative energy in my life I was seeking, and in actuality a more pure creative energy than I thought was possible. With this new energy, I am more creative and create more than I ever have in my life, and what I create is more meaningful. With this I leave you to find your own creative energy within the artist communities you have created.
,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(About The Author)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸
Kelley is an art therapist and artist living in St. Louis. She studied art journaling as a processing technique for therapists and has presented on the topic at the National Art Therapy Conference and was recently featured on Psychology Today’s Arts in Healing blog.
Art journaling is the focus on her blog where she chronicles her ongoing projects including a recently launched project about turning 30, and a process she coined parallel art journaling where she explore themes through art journaling with her significant other.