Sometimes it feels like finding the right artists to connect with is like posting a want ad, or like going on a dating website. It would be wonderful if people walked around with descriptions about their personality and art attached to their social media profiles so we’d know straightaway if they were a “good fit” for creative accountability and critique.
Us creatives can be such hermits: we get so caught up in our artwork that we forget how to reach out and find these other like-minded artists. I’ve offered some ideas on building your own community already, so today let’s talk about what you should look for in your creative accountability community.
5 Steps to Find Like-Minded Creatives
(1) Find someone you think is a bit advanced compared to you in areas you feel you are weak.
If we want to raise our creative bar by being around people who lift us up and who help us achieve more, we need to identify where we want to grow as an artist. Then we can seek people who have that knowledge or skill set. If you are lucky the people you seek also need support within an area of their own artist practice. You can both share your strengths with one another to become better artists!
(2) Be sure the people you work with are receptive to criticism.
Let’s be clear here: I don’t mean judgment. Everyone finds judgment difficult. Criticism, when talking about art, is about getting feedback about formal decisions you make in your art or receiving input on business choices you consider to build your dream art life. If someone doesn’t want to hear what you have to say about their use of value in the painting or never seems to want to learn from you, then they are not going to raise your creative bar.
You only want people with a growth mindset in your group because people with growth mindset are open to learning and change. Be very reticent to include someone with a fixed mindset unless you are convinced they wish to change and develop a growth mindset. All members should contribute to your community in a positive way. Fixed mindsets often operate from a place of scarcity and do not raise people up, but can hold people back from their hopes and dreams.
(4) Be honest about your goals and dreams.
If you don’t feel you can share your true goals and dreams the people you choose to be around likely feel the same way. If you want a creative accountability team or a creative critiquing community to work, you all need to make a commitment to honor your time together. You must find a community that allows you to say the things you need to say and voice dreams and fears that feel silly, out of reach, etc. It’s the only way to set the bar for you to reach for it!
(5) Create group ground rules together.
Once you think you’ve found your people it’s important to create shared ground rules that everyone adheres to… this includes things like: agreed upon trial runs for new community members, structure of critique, when and where to meet, who leads critiques (take turns?), goals for group, etc. It’s great to find people, but if no one shows up for the monthly critique you aren’t going to get anywhere with your art.
It isn’t easy to find artists to connect with, but finding an artist isn’t the only consideration when building an artist community to raise your creative bar: you need to find the right kind of artists. Be sure to work with these five steps to ensure you are setting the bar high. You deserve to surround yourself with people who will hold you to your hopes and dreams.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: List five people you wish you could collaborate with when it comes to your art. What is one step you can take right now to start building that relationship? Tell us in the comments below.