by Peta Tranquille
The world of an artist can be lonely, and while it is nice to have friends and family around you, it is vital to have a group of creative people who truly understand you.
An art community or creative network is vital to your development, growth and mental health. There are many ways that this critical group of people will change your life, and this blog will focus on just a few of them.
A SENSE OF BELONGING
Have you ever felt like you didn't fit in as an artist or creative person? Growing up in rural WA, finding other people with similar interests was difficult. As a child, I was very creative, and the primary schools I attended were small, so it reduced the chances of finding others with my interests. As a result, my art world was lonely throughout the following 30 years. Working full-time and raising my son meant that I never had the opportunity to build a network of artists' friends. So, when I created the concept of MAVA Inc. in 2019, it was with the intention of finding some artists to hang out with. What I didn't expect was how meeting artists and building friendships would provide the connections I didn't realise I needed. Instead, I found my art family for the first time in my life. Not only do they like art and enjoy talking about art, but they make me stronger and understand who I am.
Do you have friends or come from a family that is simply not interested in visiting an art gallery? There is nothing worse than visiting the NGV with the person/people only there because you didn't want to go alone. They don't stop to read the labels, are more interested in getting a coffee or lunch, and keep looking at the time. The best thing I ever did was meet some artist friends at the NGV and really appreciate the exhibitions and art on display. I was able to take my time and read all the labels I wanted to without any pressure. I can't stress how much I enjoyed being able to view artwork with my artist peers and those that appreciate it as much as I do. If you would like to checkout some great artwork join us at our next MAVA Inc. event.
As any creative person knows, the ideas can flow better when you can talk to someone or voice your thoughts and concepts. Like me, I am sure you have a person in your life who always gives you positive feedback; and tells you how wonderful you are as an artist or maker. Unfortunately, while it is great to have these types of supporters in your art world, they are not the people that will give you the constructive feedback you need. To grow and develop as a creative, the best feedback to receive is the constructive type, as it takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you think and rethink your processes and ideas. For more art related information and arty stuff check out our other blogs.
We hear it often; "It's who you know", and as an artist, this cannot be more crucial. The more artists you get to know, the more opportunities present themselves. You may have a few existing connections and be presented with some opportunities from time to time, but the more artists you meet, the more often and better those opportunities could be. There is always a callout, exhibition, market stall, or opportunity that you aren't aware of. By being part of a large network of artists, you are more likely to learn about what is going on in and outside your local community. In only three years, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of artists. Compiling their local knowledge and taking their ideas and suggestions on board has given MAVA Inc. the opportunity to better serve the artists within Victoria.
If you are already part of the MAVA Inc. family, we would love you to leave your thoughts in the comments. Alternatively we would love to hear about your art community and how it has benefited you. If you are looking for more information about becoming a MAVA Inc. member click or tap on the button below.