Part of my love affair with New York started when I was 1,200 miles away, in Florida, looking at old black and white photos of Andy Warhol and the community he created. Yes, Warhol was an artist and a pioneer of pop art, but what enchanted me most was the scene he created, the “magnet” he had to draw other creatives to make wild art together. Now, I don’t know what the Factory was actually really like, but I know when 15 year old me found photos of them in an art book in the school library, I was enthralled.
These were my PEOPLE!
None of them would have batted an eye when I wore my butterfly wings that I was so fond of at the time. I remember clearly making my choice to move to NYC based on the fact that I could get away with whatever weird things I wanted to do without everyone judging it.
My friend, Simon, always says that New York City is the “Island of Misfit Toys” – it’s the place where we all find each other when we’ve felt slightly off in all the other places we’ve been.
But I digress, this isn’t just about New York City, it’s about creating this wild artistic community no matter where in the world that you find yourself RIGHT NOW.
What I’ve learned is that when I’m creating on my own, it’s a lot harder. But when you have your wild creative cohorts each putting work into a project, it can be easy and fun (and when it’s not easy, you can at least all commiserate over a good cinnamon latte together). With a creative community, you and your Creative Co-Conspirators can help propel each other beyond all of your wildest dreams.
Let’s DO IT!
♥ You are Here. Before you can even start a community, you need to understand where you are starting from. Understand who you were in the past, who you are today, and the person you want to be in the future. (Hint: Past question -What did you want to grow up to be when you were little? Future question – Think about what kind of ideal life you want to be living in three years.)
♥ Know your strengths. What are your unique individual talents that you can bring to the world table? (Hint: These are the things that you do that make you feel 100% alive when you are doing them. If you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, one way to figure this out might be to look back on what people have complimented you for in the past. Getting feedback from friends you trust helps.)
♥ Find Your “Factory”. Search for people in your local and online communities who inspire you and reach out to them. If you are shy, the internet is a great way to take that bold step and reach out by just typing on a keyboard!
♥ Get out there and do what you’re best at. Make small steps every day to further your dream.
♥ Show up and spread the word. Go out and support people who you admire and do work that inspires you. If you love what they are giving the world, tell everyone you know about it. They appreciate it, and will return the favor back for the things you’re doing. That way you can both expand your audiences together. Win Win!
♥ Identify Your Creative Co-Conspirators. Brainstorm of how you can take what unique talents you have and envision how you can mix them with the talents of others to create projects and art beyond anything you could have done alone!
Who are some people who inspire you that you would like to reach out to start your own artistic community?
Have you created a community already? Have you found that it helps you stay on your art game?