Artists for other Artists: why it's so important to support other artists
Your Art Community
Your art community is a large network consisting of many valuable players who are dedicated to nurturing creativity in life and the world beginning with their own backyard, town or city. They are gallery owners, members of co-ops, journalists, children, parents, critics, art patrons, buyers, appreciators, teachers, students as well as other fellow or competing artists. There is no denying that this art game is a highly competitive business, but never forget that we are all in it for the same common goal: to creatively communicate our human experiences, and make the world a better place. With that said, it is imperative that you support fellow and competing artists for the greater good, even when it means suffering your own personal loss.
Celebrate all Art Success!
Did you know that if you combine the total number of people who attend art related events, versus the total number of people who attend sport related events that the art event attendees win, hands down? it's true! The reason for the offset is that there are far more small yet free and personal, year-round art events than there are typical expensive, large and seasonal sporting events, and this is one thing that makes the art industry so unique! If you are serious about living the "art life," than you'll need to start thinking about the players of the art community as extended members of your family. Celebrate the successes of all community members, because it is through all of these successes that a strong culture of art is built. This strong art culture and community is what ultimately provides the ideal creative atmosphere for all community members to thrive and accomplish their unique artistic goals. Therefore a single success for an individual artist or venue, no matter how big or small, is a success for the whole community! These moments of accomplishment are the building blocks that make up the whole creative community, making them and the individuals who achieve them infinitely valuable.
But.. realistically, we can't always just get along!
Okay, so it's not always roses, things are not always perfect and you can be damned sure that families will have their differences. There are going to be times when you will beat the crap out of the competition/fellow artists, and times when your ass will be handed to you by them. As cliché as it sounds, in the art game you will without a doubt win some, and lose some. No matter what, always be a good sport. When you win, carry yourself with modest pride and humility. When you lose, carry yourself with modest pride and humility. Congratulate your fellow artists/opponents when they are winners and losers. Always be confident in the fact that even when given the exact same materials and concepts, each of your works will manifest the unique style that only you, as unique and individual artists, can possibly possess. When a conflict does occur, let bygones be bygones, but also be sure to give yourself plenty of space. Constructive criticism, and honest opinions are okay to give and receive, but never speak out of anger, contempt, jealousy or spite. If someone is being deliberately hurtful to you, it's better to remove yourself from the situation than to engage in a fight. Certainly remain confident and stand up for yourself when needed, but I truly think that it's better to quietly leave the situation with dignity than to assist your assailant with pumping negativity into the art community. Spreading negativity generally in life, even if it is true, will do nothing but come back to bite you in the butt, and cause you way more grief than it is worth. Find an appropriate way to work through your differences, even if it means just staying away from the negativity. Always remain positive and surround yourself with people who do the same. Try not to burn any bridges, because you never know what the future may hold, and you wouldn't want to miss out on any important art opportunities.
Help each other out =D
Whenever you can, help out your fellow art community members. When an opportunity such as a call for entries comes up, share it with all of your art friends! Sharing opportunities like this does not lessen your chances for achieving your goals, in fact it heightens them! When you share these kinds of opportunities, you are not only helping your fellow artists, you are also greatly helping the venues that provide such opportunities. By supporting these venues, you are helping them to create more opportunities for artists, such as yourself, to participate in. You have to get it into your mindset that helping the community to function and grow, is a way to secure your own livelihood as an artist. Even if you get knocked out of one or two opportunities by your competition, by contributing to the success of the whole you are ensuring future opportunities for yourself and others. Share the wealth and it will come back at you, and the entire community, ten fold! Give to your community, watch it grow, and reap the benefits of lifelong relationships with other creative people who live to do what they love, just like you!