Artists are driven by the desire to create from what comes deep within. We take dreams and ideas and construct something tangible for others to consume. A lyric. A painting. Each time striving to be better than before. But in doing so we can isolate ourselves, and that’s the last thing need to do. That’s why community is so important.
A few weeks ago I had an idea and I wanted to see if it would resonate with anyone else. So after pondering it for a while (and realizing that if I didn’t act fear would win), I decided to take action. I sent a message to a few of my artist friends and asked them one question.
I asked if they would you be interested in coming to a monthly artist meeting. The goal would be to come together and talk about wins we have had, ideas we are working on, and how we can help each other grow in our careers.
I wasn’t really ready for the response I received. Everyone I asked seemed to jump at the opportunity to put their heads together with fellow artists and musicians. So, that settled it. We picked a time and put it on the calendar.
This last week a handful of us got together right before the Super Open Mic Night at the Sinking Ship II. I think we all walked in a little nervous, not really knowing what to expect. But I think we all would tell you that we left feeling energized and ready to create our art.
Hearing others share about their wins was so good. I didn’t find myself jealous of their success, but genuinely happy for the traction they were gaining. From there we were able to share about the projects we were working on. It was so inspiring to hear the different ideas flowing around the table. It truly inspired me to keep going.
It was so exciting to hear the dialog take over the table. We took time to discuss any topic that came up, with no reason to do anything else than be there together.
As I sat there, the simple yet profound quote from Hellen Keller came to mind.
What I hope was started the other night can grow into a time where our artist community can come together and connect. We need each other. We need our collective voices to help inspire one another so that we can inspire the world.
In the days that followed I was able to spend some time reflecting on what transpired during our time together. Here are 3 lessons I was able to take away from our conversation.
1. I’M NOT ALONE
As an artist trying to create my best work, it is really easy to feel alone. But as I sat and listened to the other guys talk about their struggles and successes I realized, I’m not alone. They understand and know that the struggle is real. In that there is so much comfort. I’ll say it to you too… You are not alone.
2. MY WAY ISN’T THE ONLY WAY
There were ideas that were thrown out the other night that I didn’t even think about. It might not be what I would have done, but I quickly learned that my way isn’t the only way. In fact, as I listened I learned to look at what was being said and apply it to how I create. As I left, I knew that I had grown as an artist, and we were only there for a little while.
3. COMMUNITY IS NECESSARY
Much like the quote above, I was able to learn that being in community allows me to go further, faster. I can’t allow myself to create my art all alone. I have to join in with others. To learn from them. To be challenged by them. In finding community I find the ability to become the artist that I am meant to be.
I am so excited to see where this small group of artists go. Each month we are going to meet to talk about our wins, projects we are working on, and how we can help each other. In doing so we will create true community. That’s when the soil of our creativity becomes soft and allows us to grow into the artists we were meant to be.
So let me ask…
Question: Where is your community? Comment below or on FB and Twitter. I would love to hear your thoughts.