It’s a stereotype of the writer/artist and a big reason a lot of people don’t aspire to a creative calling – the image of the lone creative. The lone creative is pushing back against the world – starving, but following their dream, and living their creative journey regardless of the cost. The reality is that NO ONE I know wants to live like that. We’d rather not be alone, and we’d much rather be creating in community. Everyone needs a crafty friend.
It seems simple and a little like a “duh” thing to even state it. But if you stop for second, it kind of rings true too. We do see artists live like the lone creative, and we really don’t want that life, but for introverts, putting yourself out there is frankly tough. But the benefits of pushing outside your comfort zone is huge. So why not do both? Spend time alone, cultivating your creativity, but balance that with time spent in a group. I’ve personally found I need both. I need the quiet and alone time without distraction, so I can really tune in to the process and connection with my heart and God. But also the community benefits of creating with others.
“Everyone Needs a Friend.”– Bob Ross
Bob Ross on Life.
Last week the hospitality group at my church met at a local paint your pottery place and we painted ceramics together. It was Bob Ross night and I painted one of his quotes on my mug: “everyone needs a friend.” He was referring to the squirrels he was painting, but I think he was right in a larger sense too. Everyone needs a creative friend. The girls in the group had a blast just doing something creative together.
Try an Art or Crafts Class.
On Mondays I go to my ceramics class, and although I really enjoy ceramics, there are lots of other art things I could do that I enjoy too. What keeps me coming back session after session is the sense of community I get by attending a class. This is the fourth year I’ve been going and every week I get to play with clay and hang out with one of my best friends. Neither one of us would have signed up by ourselves. We did it together, and we continue to do it together, and now I have another friend joining us too!
Volunteer With a Group of Friends.
When I started volunteering at the creative non-profit I worked at for years, one of the first things I wanted to do was to invite people to make products with me. After a while, I started a weekly product development volunteer time. It was a “come if you can, as long as you can, whenever you can” type of weekly event. No expectations, no need to rsvp – just show up, and we’ll have a project to work on. I loved that group. They still meet, even without me, because the women love to create in community. They share recipes, they laugh, they get out of the house, use their creative gifts, and make a difference.
So How Do You Create a Community?
You put yourself out there. Often, all it takes is someone to suggest it. And it might as well be you! If you ask a friend to host with you, then you’re guaranteed to have a friend close by and you can share the to-do list.
Maybe you just pick a project off Pinterest and have a Pinterest party. Or you can get a small group together for a social painting night, drop in at a ceramics painting place, or go to a paint pub. Maybe your pick a project off this blog to do as a group. I LOVE that the world is discovering social art. They’re finding out that it really provides a perfect opportunity to hang out side by side with someone and get to know them better.
Why Creating in Community?
When we create together, we learn together, we influence each other, we practice seeing something differently than we might have. We grow as individuals, but we also develop as a group. Experiences knit us together. When we create, we often feel a little vulnerable, so trust is built among us. Opportunities to offer encouragement make both the giver and the receiver feel good. And then there’s the thrill of discovery, as we find within ourselves something that didn’t exist until we took the time and made the effort to create it. There is an energy to a group, even if it’s just a couple of people, that isn’t there when you’re alone.
For More Inspiration…
Have I convinced you yet? Of the things I suggested, what would you choose to do? If you’d like more ideas I have an Arts and Crafts Class Ideas Board on Pinterest that I’ve started. I also have DIY Crafts Tutorials Board. Why not take a few minutes and plan to try something new? You’ll be so glad you did!