We are all creatives. Some of us have discovered our creative skills and we’re living creative lives while others are yet to discover the treasures hidden on the inside of them.
Discovering your creative skills is not where the story ends, though. It’s actually where it begins. Creativity is a journey of a lifetime. Some people on this journey will eventually decide to give up, others will struggle through the journey, while some barely survive and others thrive and do very well. The friends you make on your journey play a significant role in whether you give up or thrive as a creative person.
Last Saturday, was the opening reception for the final venue of Local Color 3 – the traveling exhibit I’ve been managing for the past year. It was a celebration for the end of a successful year of exhibiting our works at four (4) different venues across the state of Connecticut. But it was not a celebration in a typical way with entertainment, food, and noise.
It was more of a celebration in the form of camaraderie, friendships, intimate conversations among artists and a sense of kindred spirit. It was really beautiful. We had all gone through an experience together as a group of exhibiting artists presenting our works to the world and we’d formed some relationships in the process.
It was a cool and very crisp New England evening. By 5:00 pm, it was already dark outside and as we sat and watched from our vantage points we could see the calm ocean in front of us. What an awesome view it was. We moved around chatting in small groups of twos, threes or fours.
In one of those chats, I spoke with one friend who’d come to the conclusion that the method she’s been using to sell her work was not going to provide her with the income she wanted. So she was going to try something different. I advised her not to feel bad about not succeeding at that particular venture. Rather, she should look at it as having eliminated what doesn’t work. She was so grateful I said that. Because it gave her the opportunity to see the issue from such a positive perspective.
And then she had some great ideas for me to try with my own sales, too. I was grateful to have her validate some of the ideas I’d been tossing around in my head.
At the end of the day, we both acknowledged we’d had supportive conversations which can only grow our creative practices. Having creative friends like these can mean the difference between giving up as a creative or thriving.
Don’t give in to the myth that creative people need to be lonely and by themselves. Some parts of the creative process may require “alone time”, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek out creative friends. And yes, there’s a difference between actively cultivating relationships with creative friends, your audience and others who can support your journey, and waiting for people to come and befriend you. It could determine whether you give up on your creative journey, struggle, survive or thrive.
What are you actively doing to build up your creative journey? Do you have supportive creative friends and others who’re pushing you up, or are you alone in this journey? Are you waiting for relationships to happen to you, or are you actively making them happen?
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Also published on Medium.