One of the things that gets mentioned less is their network of fellow artists. When I was first starting out, I heard “Network! You need to network!” which sounded…okay, I guess? But how was networking going to help me?
- The industry is big enough that you can’t know everything, learn everything, find out about opportunities, etc., all on your own. Building a network of fellow artists (and non-artists) gives you a chance to hear about industry news, views, and publishing call outs.
- When it comes to artist-based networks, having a group of people who are in your industry but not in your field (so, writing, but one person is a screenwriter, the other a playwright) allows for diverse opinions and processes that can help to inform your work (and expand your skills).
- This industry is rough and tumble in ways that folks in traditional industries may not always understand. Having a band of artist siblings lends encouragement and comfort when times get hard.
So, if networking is good, how do you do it? Well, this is when our personalities come into play. Some of us are more outgoing than others, and it’s important to stick with options that leave you feeling grounded and strong. Networking (in my mind) is about putting myself in environments where I can meet like-minded folks. To that end, events like attending or volunteering at conferences, taking workshop classes, joining writing groups (or starting one) can be great places to start.