Being an artist can be a lonely existence. One usually works in isolation and the only feedback you get about your work is when you put it on display.
I urge all artists to join some kind of art group.
You can join a group in your local area, or online in another country.
Besides the obvious social interaction, you can receive constructive criticism about your work, share your ideas with others, join in workshops as a ‘student’ or a ‘teacher’ and have access to a number of resources that you may not have at home. You can share your techniques, ideas and opinions in a friendly, receptive forum. New products and techniques can be reviewed and you can get help on what art materials are suitable for your personal needs.
Art groups often conduct exhibitions of their members’ work, which is a much cheaper alternative to funding your own show.
I am a member of:
The Launceston Art Society: a vibrant group of motivated artists who conduct weekly art classes, a series of workshops throughout the year and have a broad exhibition program that has attracted a host of (financial) supporters.
The Australian Coloured Pencil Group: a relatively new group that has the potential to lift the profile of coloured pencil drawing in Australia.
The Colored Pencil Society of America
The United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society
The Centre of Fine Art Photography (USA)
The latter three groups are online, but I have had the opportunity to show my work, have my website listed and share emails. I have been part of some online exhibitions.
I am also involved (although not a member) with the Burnie Coastal Art Group and the Art Society of Tasmania. Both of these groups are dynamic, energetic and have enthusiastic committees and very happy members!
Just because you work by yourself in a studio doesn’t mean that you have to work alone!