I’m a bit late getting on the bandwagon to celebrate friends, the UN-created International Friendship Day was celebrated last month, and Friendship Day was celebrated in Australia a few weeks ago.
Artists’ groups – friends plus work is a win-win!
Either way you look at it, a shout-out to some of my oldest Queensland friends, fellow artists, and number one professional support crew at the Reddy Arts Textile Group (RATG), is well overdue.
I am 100% positive that I would never have had the same level of daring and confidence in either my approach to my work or my willingness to share it, if it had not been for my involvement in RATG over the past ten years or more. Sure, sometimes it can be hard to fit it in, but it’s always worth the time!
Finding time for your solo-work shouldn’t always mean working alone
It might sound counterintuitive when I’m the same as probably every other artist on the planet – always battling to find more time to focus on my work. But being part of a group, even if not to directly collaborate with anyone, has gone a long way to making my work more effective. First, there’s the practical:
- Having a group of fellow artists I meet up with every month has given me constant access to review and suggestion
- It’s spurred me on to create more, enter more, compete more.
On a more emotional level:
- We are social beasts, even if I crave solitude (and my work demands a fair piece of it) I still need to leave my home-base and get amongst other creators once in a while – it’s human nature.
- Everybody knows artists must back their vision. But I have to say, having a trusted fellow artist to give me that confidence boost has sometimes made all the difference between ploughing on and giving up, entering that prize, or not.
View from a different angle
One of the other great things about my RATG membership has been the opportunity to be stimulated by people who work in different ways, although we are all textile artists, with different textiles and mediums.
One of the main reasons RATG has been such a benefit to my work over the years has been because we always have something to focus on, usually a challenge, and more recently a collaboration with COOTS in New Zealand.
So, if you’re not already part of a group, go challenge yourself and find your people, it might give you just the outlet or motivation you need.