Thanks to those of you who responded to my survey a few weeks ago. Overwhelmingly many of you made it clear that you would like to find a community of like-minded people who share your creative interests. So, here ya go!
You have acknowledged that you are creative.
You have identified your personal brand of creativity.
You have started (and continued) to practice.
So far so good. It’s more likely that you will continue your creative practice if you are not alone. Finding a group of people that share your interests will help you.
It’s great to follow people on Pinterest, Instagram, or other social media who post about your creative interests, but how does that really help you? How does that help you expand your skill-set? It’s great for inspiration but it doesn’t help drive your creativity forward.
Finding + joining a community of like-minded people doesn’t necessarily mean you are teaming up with someone, or even collaborating with them (it could though). Instead the purpose is to have some kind of a community (in-person or online) to meet like minded people, to be inspired by others, to learn from others, to get tips + ideas for resources, to continue your learning, and much more.
Before you learn HOW to find a community, let’s figure out what type of community you want to join. Online or in-person?
There are way too many to list, but a good place to start is Facebook Groups. There are Facebook Groups for anything you could possible imagine.
Depending on your current location, you will have different options for meeting like-minded people in person. If you live in a big city, likely you will have more opportunities. If you live in a rural area, you may need to either travel far to meet with people or find people to meet online.
Why would someone join a community?
Join a community because you are a social person.
Join because you want to learn from others.
Join because you want access to resources and ideas.
Join because “hanging” with like-minded people is fun.
Join a community even if you aren’t a social person. Just because you join some community doesn’t mean you have to go all in and be everyone’s new best friend. You can still reap many of the benefits. Or maybe you have a hard time meeting people and making news friends (it is difficult as an adult), joining a community is a great way to do that as you know you will already have something in common and therefore something to talk about.
What is the goal of joining a community?
There are obviously endless possibilities but a few realistic goals might include:
- Being exposed to inspiration + resources
- Continuing to learn your craft
- Meeting people with your same interests
- Finding someone to collaborate with
- Forming a creative habit aided by the inspiration + encouragement of people you are interacting with
How to go about finding communities?
Depending on your creative interests, finding a group might be an easy task that takes a minute, or it could require a little more research for those of you who have more unique creative interests. For a popular, well-known example such as sewing, this is very easy. I started to google “sewing groups” and before I even hit enter, Google auto-filled for me several possibilities such as:
- Sewing groups near me
- Sewing groups on facebook
- Sewing groups online
- Sewing club
This example as it turns out was very easy aided by our friend Google. Let’s see if some other less popular ideas are as easy to navigate as well. Moving on to woodwork.
I was wrong again, just as easy.
It seems as though if you are looking for a community online, Facebook groups are the easiest to find. If you are a non-Facebook user you can always just google _______________ groups online and see where that takes you.
If you are looking for places to join a community online, trying googling ________________ groups near me. Or using the website Meetup.com. I found an upcoming hand-lettering event 2 miles from my house in a few weeks. How random and awesome!
In addition, if you enroll in a course (online or in person) often there are communities built right into the course.
Once you are a part of a community, what responsibility do you have to that community? Is it enough to just show up and read what other people write + share?
If you you are going to take (take ideas, take inspiration, learn from others, take feedback, etc,), you need to be willing to provide for other people as well. Share resources, share inspiration, share ideas, provide feedback for others.
If you are unsure about how to get started being a part of the community, start with something simple like asking a question. You are asking a question which is going to be helpful for you, but it can also be helpful for other people. It is also not quite as scary as sharing something you created and soliciting feedback for it yet.
Take 5 minutes and find yourself a community of like-minded people!
Leave me a comment and tell me what kind of community you are looking for and if you were able to find one based on the instructions in this post.