Currently knee deep working on my upcoming book release, I can’t help but think about all the hard work that goes into any sort of artistic endeavor. That got me thinking of all the authors who have supported me along the way, as well as those who I’ve supported. As artists, we’re aware of what it takes to turn a crazy idea into something meaningful. Therefore, the third installment of my Working Together series was written to explore and encourage supporting other artists!
Why support other artists?
Believe it or not, some people don’t see the value in supporting other in the same field. They may see it as a waste of time and energy, or perhaps devaluing their work by supporting their “competition”. This can’t be further from the truth. Supporting other artists is a fulfilling endeavor that can lead to lifelong friendships, incredible experiences, and help you grow as an artist. It is also an ideal way of encouraging others to support you.
The Art of Mentorship
Mentoring is an incredibly meaningful and helpful way to support a new or budding artist or author. Applying your experience, unique skillset, expertise or wisdom, to mentor others is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Individually or as a group, passing on your knowledge creates a long-term impact on others who in turn my influence others.
In most cases, we seek a mentor when in need of something we don’t currently possess. Be it a direction, a different perspective, or simply a way to overcome our fears.
Mentorship take many forms—from in-person meetings, giving notes on a work, to long hours at a café discussing the piece. However, a mentor-mentoree relationship evolves, it’s an incredible way to support or get support on various levels of experience and expertise.
While becoming a full blown mentor is a fantastic way to support other artists, it’s certainly not the only way. Something as simple as telling a friend about another artist’s work can have a lasting impact.
Social Media has created a unique opportunity for authors to promote themselves and network with other authors. Personally, I’ve used this avenue extensively to grow and establish a base of followers including friends, readers, authors, and more. I’ve also used it as an opportunity to share interesting articles on writing that encourages fellow writers and provides valuable content that everyone—myself included—can learn from. It is something I enjoy doing. Not only does it make life a little bit easier for other artists, it also allows me to continue to grow my network as a writer.
One of my proudest contributions to the writing community was the creation of my Facebook group, Talking Fiction, which was created to provide fellow writers a forum to learn from their peers, exchange ideas and promote their work.
Another great idea is to join your local writing groups. I belong to the Southern California Writer’s Association and attend as many meetings as possible to network and always walk away with new insights, even from speakers in totally unrelated genres.
As your involvement with the community continues, eventually you can be invited to give seminars for others. I’ve loved giving workshops for several groups and organizations.
Supporting other artists—whether you’re a writer, painter, sculptor, et al.—is indescribably fulfilling. Knowing you’re helping someone else share their unique perspective is an invaluable experience that will bring you new wisdom, create lasting friendships, and cultivate a support system for your own work.
P.S. If you’d like to join Talking Fiction, request entry here: Talking Fiction Facebook Group
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