When I started painting, I quickly realized that I needed art friends.
Don't get me wrong, I have some great friends! I have mom friends I hang out with and talk parenting with, cycling friends I love to bomb around on trails with, long time friends I can't wait to catch up with, etc.
However once I started painting, I found I needed art friends to talk about art supplies with, meet up with at art shows and museums (my husband is getting better at those, but his endurance at such events is much lower than mine), create with, take workshops with and bounce ideas off of.
I was really lucky to meet some great people in my initial painting classes. From there, I found the best way to grow this group of art friends was to attend art events and workshops, and by interviewing other artists. As each year passes and my tribe grows, I feel incredibly grateful.
When I decided to take the leap to becoming a full time artist, I spent the year before taking artists I knew or could contact out for coffee or wine, calling them on the phone or emailing and picking their brains about everything I could.
I learned quickly that artists are an awesome bunch of people. Those I met and spoke with were generous with both their time and the information they shared such as how they run their businesses or fill their days. These artists have now become friends as well, and more coffee dates and road trips have ensued. We encourage each other at shows, we trade knowledge of art supplies, we hang out at events and even go on creative retreats.
While I still keep in touch with my other friends, my artist friends are the only ones who understand why I am exhausted because I was feeling inspired and I just had to stay up and paint all night. We can share that incredible feeling of selling that painting or offer a shoulder to cry on when you don't sell a thing at your show. We can name paint colours as we stare out the window (Cobalt blue sky anyone?).
I depend on my tribe for many things and would do anything for them as well. We push each other to grow, to hang in there and to just keep making art.
"Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there." Unknown