Working Alone | Breaking the Isolation that can Surround The Pursuit of Art

Recently I had a conversation with an artist from Montana about overcoming the isolation that can come with working as an artist in a small community. As we corresponded I realized that artists living in a small community don’t have a monopoly on isolation. Even artists living in the largest cities in the world can feel alone as they pursue their craft in the solitary confines of the studio.

As a gallery owner, I get to spend my days interacting with artists and collectors – it’s easy to forget that most art is created in solitude. Creating is so different from the pursuits of the rest of the world, that even among friends and family you can feel alone

I would like to share the email I received from Helen, in Montana describing the groups she belongs to that help her break the isoliation.

I too live in a small community (large by Montana standards, small for the rest of the U.S.), but there are a number of artists in this town and the surrounding area.   I’m benefitting greatly from two forums.   Note that I didn’t start either one; they were in existence and I was invited to join. But I could have been the initiator if the need were there and the idea occurred to me.

First, I’m a member of an artists’ group here in the community.  We have about 70 member artists from this part of the state; about 40 are relatively active.  This group has been up and running for about 30 years, and benefits from having an endowment from an estate bequest, the interest on which helps with expenses.   Members also pay an annual fee, which we keep low to encourage participation even from “starving artists.”   What do we do together?

  • We paint together every other Saturday.   To be honest, those of us who are advanced don’t get much serious painting done, but we can show our works in progress for comment.   And it’s a chance to help and encourage one another.   More experienced artists, for example, can give advice to newer artists and can collaborate with one another too.
  • We sponsor 2 – 4 workshops a year, bringing in regionally or even nationally known artists.   (There is an additional fee for these workshops).
  • We hang works together as a group at two good local venues, changing out our work on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • We hold an annual juried show in conjunction with an area art museum.  This experience also helps newer artists learn the process of entering juried competitions.
  • We have a web site, where members can show some of their works and link to their own web sites.
  • And we socialize together, with annual parties in the summer and at Christmas.

Second, I take part in monthly art critiques.   These take place on a Saturday night, after hours at a local gallery.   About 25 artists take part, with perhaps 10 – 15 showing up for any monthly session.  Everyone brings a snack to share, or a bottle of wine.  We socialize for a while, then sit down in a classroom format.  Taking turns, we go to the front and present a work in progress — usually one near completion on which we have some questions or believe we’re struggling a bit.   Everyone is free to offer their thoughts and suggestions.   The key for this critique group, I believe, is having the right culture — constructive but positive.   It’s not just a chorus of “gosh, that’s wonderful” — critical comments are made, but in a helpful way.

There are some really good artists in this group. It would be interesting to know if other artists have found yet additional ways to create a community that can be there for them when needed.

Helen R.

What Have you Done to Get Connected?

Have you experienced isolation? What have you done to become a part of the art community? How important is it for you to connect? What do you like and dislike about the solitude that comes with being an artist? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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48 Comments

  1. I had an interesting outside job where I had lots of human interaction…Then I became a professional artist. The solitude was quite an adjustment for me. I alleviated it with listening to the radio, long phone calls and later with online interaction. I kick myself for never moving to an arts community. It is inspiring to me to see what other artists are doing, even if it is entirely different genres that what I do. Artists as people are generally interesting lot anyway. Alas, I never found that community in the places I lived, but did online, and I have received valuable advice from several artists and a good friend who is a dealer. Being an artist, especially a busy one, will remain a solitary experience. This site is excellent, as some of the challenges are often directly discussed, and hope other artists like Helen post on how they deal with their isolation.

  2. I lead a critique group in Aurora, Illinois that meets every Saturday Morning at Jake’s Bagels at 9 am. Anywhere from 7 to 35 artists show up. Each artist gets to put up 1-2 pieces for critique and if there is time after we’ve gone through the whole group they can show more. Many artists have had substantial improvement in their work along with several no winning some local awards and getting some sales. We also talk about local exhibition opportunities along with who has what art supply on sale, etc. It’s been a pretty positive experience in general though it can be a bit overwhelming if you haven’t heard any critical comments about your work before, though we always try and point out the positive aspects as well.The artists who attend range from beginners all the way through to professional and semi-professional. It’s nice to have a local community to help with artistic isolation along with the ” I like this painting, but there just seems something wrong with it and I am not sure what it is” questions.

  3. I belong to a group of encaustic artists. We meet about every other month. There are occasional demos, sharing of information, critiques on work if one of the members brings in work to critique. We also have exhibitions of our work several times a year in various spaces around the Los Angeles and outlying areas. There is an online gallery and a website. We are supportive of each other and give necessary information when requested.

    I also have a small group of two other artist friends who get together every month at each other’s houses to paint in watercolor, chat, and critique if desired each other’s work.

  4. Excellent subject and one I have been struggling with a lot recently. I live just far enough out of town to separate me from the local known artist community. There used to be an art academy here. To say I miss it is a huge understatement.

    Even though I have a lovely large studio on our property, art is a lonely business.

    I have participated in a number of on line groups . These are helpful but it’s not quite the same as in person. Also living in an isolated area can be an issue as far as things as simple as internet connections.

    I have been seeking a smaller studio in town just to be a greater part of the local art scene…. where I could be art of a community of artists, participate in gallery walks, etc.

    I have held workshops at my studio but the distance from town is something of a damper on this.

    Recently I have been meeting with a small group of artists for coffee a few times a month. It helps but the drive to get there is an hour each way, and the group meets for two hours. All during prime painting time.

    I don’t know what the answer is, short of moving to an artist and gallery rich city like Sante Fe, Scottsdale, maybe even a coast.

    I am very interested to hear what others have to say. Creating art is such a solitary process anyway. But having no community to share and learn from is somewhat defeating.

    1. You may only need just a LITTLE more artist companionship and find its enough. I signed up for classes and found it annoying after just a bit to have others around and craved the alone time I was missing.
      If u r like me, once you get going on a painting you are happiest. Its just getting going that’s difficult, so I’d say don’t move, be grateful for your great studio space, you may regret the trade off. You may be remembering a time when you needed the help from others, but as you progress, you need it less.

    2. I don’t know where you live but it sounds wonderful to be in peace and quiet – love it! I love being alone but not lonely.
      I think artists need to see community in a more creative way. Church, create fishing, hiking or hunting tours. Go to the grocery store, the library, local school and/or college, local businesses, the lobby of a hotel or resort. Go there and just sit and have coffee. Inevitably someone or many “someones” that want to just have someone to talk with will ask to join you – bingo lead the conversation and show off your work from your camera or cell phone or maybe a snap shot. Ask them what they do for a living or about their trip. Get to know the proprietor(s) or front corner folks of the local businesses, hotels, motels and resorts. Ask to put up your art on their walls. Maybe suggest them sending folks your way to see you working in your studio. Build mystery and intrigue have a story. Or have an art show in their lobby or conference room. These places are all free to go and have one thing in common – people; lots of people. Just have conversations, friends, acquaintances and family interactions should get you sales and/or at least an occasional lead. Volunteer at the local school art department or music department. Heck, setup a roadside art show or at a gardener or farmers vegetable stand – talk to them.
      Remember, one very important thing. The old saying, “Out of site; out of mind” is the death of an artist or business owner. It is so key to be visible; just driving around with a sign on your vehicle or a piece of art with a 4-sale sign will get you noticed.
      All things are art and art is in all things, places and people. I get my best ideas when I am not thinking about doing art. I carry a small notebook and writing tool. As ideas hit me a jot them down in words and a sketch or two. Everyone I know, knows I am an artist. I also carry my digital camera or actually the old-fashioned photo to show off my work like others show off their kids. They show me kids; I show art. It works and I get a sale now and again.
      I live very rural and there isn’t a person or business around that does not know me. Just be yourself and be friendly. I am an introvert and it takes a lot for me to talk with others but when I walk into the grocery store and everyone says hi visitors notice and there goes another introduction to a sale. Having fun will create sales!

  5. I live in a Montana town, population 399 according to the last census. There are several non art related things to participate in that I enjoy in addition to listening to audiobooks.

  6. I am actually looking forward to the quiet solitude of my studio on a more regular basis. Right now, I still work in the corporate world but will be devoting myself to full time artist this summer. I believe I work best alone in my studio and don’t feel the need to make it into something more social. I have a full life with family and friends outside of my art making but I do enjoy attending art openings, workshops by other artists, and visiting galleries and museums.

  7. Debra,
    My husband and I sold a herd, a farm, retired to a location where we did not know anyone. The positive energy here in Mesilla is amazing. Everyone that we have interacted with has been friendly and kind. When things settled – I started my art endeavors. My focus is watercolor art and I was encouraged by another local artist to join the Southern Chapter of the NM Watercolor Society. I have continued participating in local events, small shows and trying to get my art out into the community. I so wish that there was a couple galleries like Xanadu here in the Las Cruces area. There is a great art community here – the economy here is slow. But I also see all the 300,000- Million dollar homes in the area. There has to be a market for art! Local artist’s all complain that everybody is going to but art in Santa Fe. I am trying to overcome – looking for the why – what is missing here? Being involved is the best way to beat the solitude.

  8. I live in a mid sized town in Michigan with a large art community and a nationally recognized art center, but that doesn’t automatically make a community. While there are a number of great artists in my town, the main form of interaction is at exhibition openings. What I consider my main art community is the google+ group. I have come to know some of them better than people I see in person. We offer comments and minor critiques when ever someone asks for one. We also celebrate each other’s successes or sympathize with disappointments. I share my studio with my studio assistant and two advanced students so isolation isn’t a problem. Sometimes when I need my alone time I go to the studio two hours early or go on days no one else is planning to be there. Even when we are all there, we are all busy painting not visiting-we are all in our own solitary space. Because I’m the oldest and most experienced, I help them figure out where and how to enter competitions and share my experiences.

  9. Thanks for the query Jason. I live on Canadian west coast Vancouver Island where it is a two hour ferry ride to a major city (Vancouver). The island is home to only 400,000 most of who are involved in the arts of some genre or fishermen or loggers. I have a very busy art and art teaching practice. Have a minimum of 5 shows per year. Belong to 3 art councils and fill my life with friends and family who are involved in the arts. It has taken me 70 years to work out this lifestyle but it has been worth the struggle. I am a contented human being and very satisfied with a still growing art practice. I choose to be active until way past age 100, God willing.

  10. I used to list my business in the local Bennington College Field Work Term department and every winter they’d send me students applying for the position I offered. The term ran through January and February and they’d work under my guidance and get credit for their art major after completion. Sometimes I’d take on two.om

  11. It is all part of being in show biz. I am married to an artist which helps with the solitude. I think this aspect of being an artist is completely missed by art biz coaches who think artist should be able to market their work at a flip of a switch when the two things are at opposite ends of the spectrum

  12. Thank you for this article. I struggle with wanting to be more involved with an art community, and then also liking my solitude. I belong to different groups online and I go to galleries and browse, sometimes coming away inspired. I think it depends on the person of course. gabrielleengland.com

  13. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind a little isolation. My studio is in an artists’ cooperative with 45 members and people coming and going all the time. At home, my husband works at home and I have two teenage kids. I rarely have big pockets of time to work in solitude. But that’s ok with me. I get some alone time, and I also get energized from the interactions. Everyone has to strike their right balance.

    I must say, the cooperative has been instrumental in my growth as an artist. As in the example letter, a supportive climate but honest feedback.

  14. I live in a large city where you would think finding association and groups would be easy. However what I’ve found is that out of the five I’ve joined none are supportive of general members. The groups are composed of very tight cliches, in turn they nominate their friends for awards and grants. I do much better dealing out of state where I’m hanging in two public buildings and a muesum. The spring arts festival has less than 15% of the artist from the state and less than 35% from the six other contiguous states. The arts council has taken it from a city / state festival to a national festival. It’s what happens when the board is taken over by corporate oligarchs. So solitude is not just a small town problem, in the big city if your last name isn’t important you’ll receive the attention of a stray dog.

  15. Right now I have a full-time non-artist job (and then try and spend evenings and weekends working on art whenever I can squeeze it into my family life). I get plenty of socialization, but what I miss is socializing with other artists. To help with that, I am a member of several artist groups where we share what we are working on and discuss issues we are experiencing (plus a lot of social chit chat). But what I love the most are the semi-annual retreats that we go on! Twice a year we pack our art supplies up and head to a 4-5 day long retreat. I find these retreats to be incredibly rewarding! I can get more work done at one retreat than I can during month of my “real” life. Plus watching and listening to the other artists is EXTREMELY inspiring!! Most of the time they work in radically different art mediums than I use (we are all fiber artists), but watching their processes and listening to them as they make choices and work through their own distinctive struggles has been a wonderfully-helpful education!

  16. I live & work practising my art in Brighton on the south coast of the UK. To break the isolation I am becoming more involved in marketing & promoting my artwork. I have been fortunate enough to have been published in the local press several times, when this happens I go into town & show people the articles & spread the word, lots of people are very interested in what artists do & produce. I have just had 1000 postcards printed of a piece that was recently published. I give these postcards away, post them through letter-boxes & hand them out, they are a great talking point. I ask people if they would like a piece of free art & people respond very positively, often saying they will treasure it!

  17. When I’ve lived in more populated areas I’ve been in photo clubs. I’ve also participated in a few online forums. One of those online groups has also spurred some in face meetings of groups of photographers which have been great. When I was living in a very rural area of Iowa, I only had the online groups, but it was ok for that brief time. I’m an introvert anyway, so smaller amounts of interaction is easier for me to handle anyway. I’m also in a group called the Photographic Society of America (PSA) and in some portfolio groups. Each group sends the portfolio around like a round robin – you put your print in and comment on everyone else’s. When you get it back, you have comments from everyone else about your photo. Many of the people in these groups are very experienced and I’ve learned a lot.

  18. I’m a member of a small group (a dozen) and although we gather weekly to paint it is more social than anything. We joke, have coffee, and eventually get around to offhand critiques. That lighthearted interaction is refreshing and rarely is a serious word uttered … about anything.
    I’ve joined several guilds over the years and found it drained my energy. Ask yourself if you are giving more than you receive in return. Hopefully, it is reciprocal. Ramping up interaction is seldom the problem. If you’re halfway skilled you’re the organizer, you’re the one who reminds members they didn’t pay their dues that year, you’re the one who arranges the annual show, etc. The problem is dialing it back.
    I live in a rural area as well, but with family responsibilities solitude in my studio is balm for my soul. The key is to recognize that. Some are more social animals than others … know thyself.
    The Internet has opened up a host of art forums and associations; Red Dot Blog is one and I appreciate the input from other artists. I can leave the computer at will and retire to my sanctuary studio. I have made Internet art friends I respect who will give me an objective critique.
    Art may be a lonely pursuit but it is a welcome one.

  19. I recently reopened an art gallery and studio in Los Alamos, NM. I have been teaching oil painting here for about 7 years and decided to try an Open Studio event on a weekly basis from 9:30am-11pm on Fridays that is well attended. One thing we don’t do is critiques because it can cause stress and hurt artist relationships. We encourage each other, when appropriate, and the more experienced artists help the less experienced, again, if requested. The events have improved everyone’s work and makes our artist community supportive.

  20. This post is so incredibly timely for me. I’m self-taught and have felt a bit intimidated (and too introverted – perhaps from my isolation!) to connect with other artists, participate in events/shows or do anything apart from creating by myself and selling my work online. I know this has really limited my opportunities and has started to affect my self-esteem. I’m in a temporary situation where I live (moving several states away in the next year) and didn’t want to get too involved with the limited art communities where I currently live. However, getting out of my studio and meeting other artists/exhibiting publicly, etc. has been a burgeoning goal of mine as of late and this very post inspired me to look again locally. I found a local art guild that I was not aware of, connected with the President, will be going to their meeting in a couple weeks and have been invited to exhibit at their next show at the local university. Thank you for being the extra little push I needed.

  21. I live in a tiny town in the foothills outside of Denver and for years I worked in a home studio. I join two co-ops to give myself plenty to do and more show opportunities. Finally I decided to open a studio in a work space that has a nice variety of creatives and other small businesses. It’s really been a help it’s actually gotten me a few commissions and sales it’s been really nice I like having a bunch of artists around me much more than I thought I would.

  22. I have joined a group, “Call to Art” which meets in a local church. They have two shows per year, of which the artists collaborate and work as a team on a group project, and then we also exhibit our individual pieces. I am really excited because they have decided to keep meeting weekly, and to just get together and paint. We normally only met once a month unless we needed more time for the group project. I have enjoyed being with like minded people, sharing our art, painting and building friendships. Several of us run into each other at local gallery shows and exhibits. We don’t feel competitive but rather build up one another. It is great.

  23. Interesting subject, Jason — to which I would add these thoughts:
    “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born. That is why many of the earthly miracles have had their genesis in humble surroundings.” ~ Nikola Tesla
    And…
    “Seclusion is the price of Greatness.” Though these words of Paramahansa Yogananda are in reference to spiritual growth, I believe they apply to the creative process as well.

  24. I live in a small village in the Norwegian mountains where there is no artist community. I do most of my connecting online. Whether on social media or via Skype or Zoom. I also volunteer locally.

  25. It is a really interesting question because on the one hand most artists will undoubtedly say that they need to be by themselves when making art. On the other side most artists will also say that as human beings they still want to have people to interact with in their lives.

    I think in the end it is not just a question of where artists live. Residing in a remote section of Montana or anywhere else is not the only reason for isolation. It often is a matter of mind set and choice, how one envisions just what their life as an artist is about and what to chooses as a lifestyle. If an artist lives remotely hours from other people or in small rural towns that has little or no art community it is often because they have chosen to live there. On the other hand artists who want the excitement of interaction with other artists and art groups may move into bigger cities like San Francisco or Boston or New York. The stimulation of being around other artists and galleries and museums is what they want and seek after.

    Even though many artists might argue that their isolation is because of economics, that is finding a living location that is more affordable, in the end I think it is more a matter of attitude and preference. For most artists if they want more of a art community and lots of other artists to interact with they can have it, but if they prefer more isolation in which to make art, they can have that as well.

  26. Our studio is located in northern Wisconsin and there is a limited art community here. The solitude of the north woods can be a blessing but there are times you need to mix in with other artists and other art then your own. Mainly to keep inspired and just get out and see something new.

    Most local artist interaction comes from doing shows and exhibitions together. Social Media also helps us connect not only with collectors and art galleries, but also with other artists locally and worldwide. I believe the key point with Social Media is trying not to make it a process or part of the daily art operations but to keep it natural maybe even a nonchalant manner. Like art sometimes less is more.

    Creating art in isolation can have its benefits but getting out in other art communities can greatly help in reaching a life of creative art.

  27. Art is really a very personal experience. Whether self imposed or just a fact of life as a artist practitioner I am amazed how many people are uncomfortable working in solitude. I wrote this several years ago to help others to refocus on what is important to them and their craft:

    au·to·tel·ic [aw-tuh-tel-ik]
    adjective Philosophy.
    (of an entity or event) having within itself
    the purpose of its existence or happening.
    Reference:
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    THE AUTOTELIC EXPERIENCE:
    Autotelic is a word composed of two Greek roots: auto (self), and telos (goal).

    An autotelic activity is one we do for its own sake because to experience it is the main goal. Applied to personality, autotelic denotes an individual who generally does things for their own sake. Autotelic is used to describe people who are internally driven, and exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity. It’s called flow. This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.

    An autotelic person experiences flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, even when alone with nothing to do, is less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the flow of life.

    Find your flow and enjoy a truly rewarding (and autotelic) experience in your art.

  28. I live in a very small town (less than 300). The next town of any size is 30 miles away. My only exposure to other artists are the students in my glass and the local art guild that I am president of. Although I enjoy these, I am tired of being the leader and not having a mentor. Both of these activities take away time I could spend painting. I feel the need to support art in the community but there are no other serious artists, as they are mostly doing it for fun. I use to do several large art shows and could “get my batteries charged” but I no longer have the time, money or energy to continue to do that. I mostly follow artiest I enjoy on Facebook now.

  29. I live in north central Kansas. Not exactly synonymous with creativity or art. About five years ago the local Arts Council, whose only activity was to bring in entertainment from outside our area, expanded to include a theater group and a fine arts group. At first, the fine arts group was made up of myself and three others. At this time, I am the only member. I teach all of the classes both adults and kids and am working on putting together several sessions of a day camp for kids and an art walk in the businesses downtown. Two volunteers have stepped up to do a few of the art walk tasks or there is no way that I could accomplish everything. I am a full-time art teacher and do not have business hours to make connections. I really want to nurture the arts here where I live, but it is taking all the extra time I have and more. Admittedly, without a committee, I no longer have to worry about stepping on egos and can save time in decision making but burnout is not too far away.
    I would welcome artist connections, a mentor with experience in the business side of art would doubly so, but I do not have time or energy to even produce much art during the school year. When a time for solitude presents itself it is selfishly guarded.

  30. I live in a smaller town which has a coop gallery. I am a member there and enjoy working in the gallery a few hours a week. Unfortunately, we are going to be forced out of our space, and are scrambling to find a new location. I get along with the artists, and it’s nice to see other’s work. I also belong to the community theater group, which gets me out of myself, and is a great way to get out into the community.

  31. I live in a Oklahoma City but even so, I have to work at staying in the artist community. I have been a member of a local sculpture society for 20 plus years and remember how hard it was to find them initially. We meet for a sculpt-in every few months and share a model for a day. I always leave inspired by the enthusiasm of the group and leave with a piece that I’m excited to see to completion. We also sponsor workshops every year where we bring in a teacher. Aside from this I am a member of an on-line association and we hold yearly juried shows. We connect at the show but mostly through an on-line Yahoo community and through Facebook. I have learned so much from being a part of this organization.

  32. I live in a big city (Vancouver, BC) but I am alone in my studio most of the time. I have two large storefront windows that I let one artist each month put their art in and I have had some great photography, painting, assemblage, installations and textiles. I get to spend time with the artist as they are hanging their art and have great conversations. I also host twice a month Sewing Bees where 8 of us artists work on anything textile based. Again I get so much out of this and love having other artists creating in my space. I host other small events such as “Artist Supply Giveaway” where 6 of us clean out our studios and offer for free to other artists paint, frames, canvases, etc. The other event I started was http://www.firstsaturday.ca where we invite the public to visit working studios. There are 70 of us spread out over three boroughs. I feel blessed to own my own studio and what to share it with others but I always get back more than I give…that is for sure. Then it is back to working on my own with a refreshed and inspired attitude!

    1. Valerie, what a wonderful situation you have! I think your ideas are very interesting and I can see that it gives you such pleasure to be able to contribute to other artists lives. As I opened the link, I wish that I lived closer to your area to visit the studios.
      Again, great ideas, congratulations!

  33. As I read through, I get the feeling that we all enjoy the solitude but want to avoid loneliness and there are different ways to cope with it. In a way THIS is a small group of artists where to share ideas that are sparked by Jason.
    Artists need introspection to express ourselves and that’s why most of us want to be left alone, but we do need others for input, company and ideas, and a few fellow artists fit the spot. I like it when is informal, and void of structure… I have tried those groups that are big enough that you have to name a president and collect dues etc. I feel trapped and uncomfortable but for others is the perfect situation.
    Conclusion: we all need human contact of some degree and we should work actively to find what fits in order to have balance.

  34. I would love to visit Helen R.’s website mentioned above. Can you share that with us? I moved to California from Montana and still have family there, some of whom are artists, as I am.

  35. Here is the bottom line…from Scape Martinez

    “Never give up! Don’t listen to the haters. Don’t try to be an artist unless you can work and live in isolation, without any thanks….bleak, but needed until you get to the much lauded place.”

    While good advice, the reality is 99.9% artists will never get to the much lauded place…still we keep working. If you need someone to hold your hand while you do your art, you will probably never amount to much. Art and the rejection associated with art is soul crushing…still we keep working.

    With respects to photography…there are 2 billion cell phone cams roaming the earth…still we keep working. But none of this matters. If freezing time is in your blood, being a do-gooder, trying to change the world or making $ does not matter. If your dedicated to your art, you must produce and keep producing, whether you have an outlet or not to make $…or even have any practical use for your output.

    Irrespective of recognition, fame and riches, dedicated photogs all have one thing in common…we know photography is our life blood and as long as we can keep pressing the button and freeze time, we feel the better for it.

    Weegee on the subject…

    “Sure. I’d like to live regular. Go home to a good looking wife, a hot dinner, and a husky kid. But I guess I got film in my blood.”

    Art is the way many of us make sense of our world. A wordsmith sifts it all through their brain and writes a book or article, a musician composes a song, a poet pens a poem, an artist sketches a drawing or does a painting, a photog shoots a pix, a sculptor forms a statue, a choreographer creates a dance. We each express what is in us and make sense of our world through our art.

  36. A very relevant topic. I miss the camaraderie and friendly competition while studying painting. Then turning pro, I worked alone, solo. I enjoy that aspect of being a pro artist, but believe that it would be helpful to regularly engage in group painting sessions, whether at a school, live model sessions, or paint-outs. Engaging with other artists keeps the mind fresh, introduces new ideas and techniques, and the kinship is enriching. I love the ways Helen R. engages with others. I am going to implement these! Just started a new painting group in the area- Shenandoah Plein Air Painters. Thanks for sharing!

  37. I live in the Washington DC metro area, a big, busy, and very active place. I work alone at home. I need the solitude because I’m easily distracted. To keep my creativity juice flowing, I connect with like minded artists online through online classes. We post our work on Facebook closed group and share experience and interests relating to arts. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but most of the time, it keeps me connected to what’s trending, new ideas, and new techniques. I’m good as long as I limit my time on FB. I also have membership in several local artists groups, which gives me opportunity to engage in creative activities and communicate with individual artists in person.

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