Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Top 3 Reasons To Be A Solo Artist

Some say that it's better to go it alone in life.  After all, you only have yourself to take care of, nothing to hold you down, and plus you get to take all the credit for yourself.  Who would want to find a close-knit, supportive community of artists?  Who wants artist friends or a support group of others who have been there and done that?

We assume you don't, so today, we wanted to bring you the top 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Find An Artist Community.

1.  You Don't Want To Get Far

Finding a community of artists, whether it's in person or via online, usually helps you create connections with other artists.  Monkey + Seal have found that through these connections, we've been able to both help careers along, as well as be helped ourselves.  Through our networks, we've found jobs, gigs, cool new opportunities, and friends.  So if you don't want any of that, and you want to slave away by yourself doing everything the hardest way possible, please, by all means, stay away from communities.

By communities, we mean don't find friends who like to go to gallery openings, or don't join online communities like Deviant Art or various Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.  If you went to art school, make sure you cut off all contact with your classmates and former teachers, and don't take part in any alumni groups or meet-ups.

For the love of all that is holy, make sure you stay away from communal art groups, or drawing meet-ups, or any sort of art making that might happen in a public place with other people - these are the most dangerous of all if you want to fly solo.

2.  You Enjoy Artists' Block

Often times, when we get stuck in the process of creating, besides pushing through it, an easy way to get past it is to find new inspiration, or ask for help from other artists who you trust.  We're sure you can see where we're going with this.

If you enjoy the gut-wrenching frustration of Artists' Block, be sure to not make other artist friends who you can get opinions from.  Definitely don't live with another artist, as we've found that living together has shattered our Artists' Block countless times.

Other artists provide new insights into our own work, or perhaps they might share a resource that might inspire you or give you more information that you needed to push through.  Maybe a fresh pair of eyes might help that composition you were struggling with, or maybe they've worked with an epoxy that might help out your sagging sculpture that you've been fighting.

So please, if you just absolutely love getting stuck and not being able to get past the block that stops you, make sure that you don't make other friends who are artists!

3. You Love Feeling Unsafe and Like Poop

Multiple rejections are a part of being a professional artist.  Our field is highly subjective, and having a barrage of blows to your self-confidence can be crippling if you're by yourself.  Obviously, if you love feeling beat down and potentially scared to make art, having a group of like-minded people alongside you to remind you that your art IS VALUABLE and IS IMPORTANT would not be your cup of tea.

Having a network of other people who have been there, or are there fighting alongside you can help restore your confidence.  Hearing stories of successful artist friends who have also been rejected or have had to submit portfolios again and again to finally land that dream job can really help someone who is going through the rough time that being an artist can entail.  So if you don't like to feel great and be reminded about how totally subjective our field is, then please, stay away from artist communities.

You need to be especially wary of having good artist friends who are willing to honestly and safely critique your work when you are trying new things.  Whether it's a new style, subject matter, or new medium, showing it to your core group of trusted artist homies probably isn't a good thing if you want to be ruthlessly beat down and told you suck.  If you want to feel like crap, create for a void, where you will have no one to validate your ideas, and you can let that monstrous whirlwind of self-doubt win out over your logical mind and crush your artistic dreams forever.

So please, dear artists, if you have any disregard for your own artist's soul, your artistic well-being, your ability to create, or your professional career, please, stay away from finding your tribe.  Don't make close friends who you can trust to nurture your art and your vision.  Stay away from artist communities that foster new work and will help you grow both as an artist and a professional.  Please, please, please do not continue to read this blog, as Monkey + Seal are working to create a new community of artists who are supportive and caring over competitive and criticizing.  Don't look for our new updates on how to become members of the upcoming online cabal of artists!