This week, we’re rounding up a series of articles from around the Web with one topic in mind: finding and connecting with members of a creative community. If you’re in a creative business, sometimes it may feel like you’re an island all to yourself, surrounded by people who work in more traditional jobs who have no idea what goes into the work that you do. Finding a creative community of like-minded, crafty people can give you an oasis in the middle of that island, but it isn’t always easy to look out your door and find an instant community. If you’re looking for a gang of creatives to hang out with, check out these articles that will show you the way to your new, creative home.
Lisa Anderson Shaffer and Sarah Deragon know all about the importance of having a community of supporters. They founded Success Squad, a group of creative makers in the San Francisco area who get together once a month to inspire and empower one another. Success Squad is built around a monthly creative challenge where every individual creates something and brings it before the group for critique. The advice they give one another helps to boost their own creativity and push the limits of their creative skills each month. Shaffer and Deragon discuss the importance of this type of peer review and community on Oh My! Handmade.
If you don’t live in San Francisco, never fear! Bonnie of Going home to Roost has written a post on getting involved in the craft community for her site, and in it she lists a variety of options from online groups to in-person meetups of creative spirits everywhere. You’re sure to find your new posse from her list of options.
If you’d like to create your OWN community, Tara Swiger gives you some tips on how to get started with finding new members. In an answer to her own need for community support, Tara has created a group on meetup.org where people of any creative-businessy persuasion can sign up to meet others in their own geographic regions. Use meetup’s features to organize your own event and recruit people to join you.
Of course, if you’re an Etsy seller, there are also a variety of Etsy Teams to help you in your efforts to form a community. Whether you join a team based on the types of items you make and sell or you prefer a local team so you can meet in person, Etsy’s comprehensive list of teams should have something to appeal to you.
The point is, being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. There are people out there who can help you as you grow, explore, and learn in your business and they can be a source of inspiration and support along the way. Now you just have to go out there and find them.
Of course, we’d love for you to help us build the Patterned community, too – so take a moment to introduce yourself in the comments below, and read through the rest of the comments while you’re at it. You never know who you might run into!