CREATING IN A GROUP PART 2: 14 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE JOINING A GROUP

In my last blog post I talked with my friend, visual artist Kerstin Peters, about "Creating Art with a Group" - about groups she is part of, how they can help contribute to success as an artist, and about meet-up locations (https://annewarburton.blogspot.com/2018/07/why-you-should-create-in-group.html). In this second part we talk about challenges and about collaborations on a joint piece, and provide you with 14 questions to ask before you join - or create - a group.




4) What are some disadvantages of creating with a group? Are you afraid to lose your own creativity when you participate in group activities too often?


One of the advantages of creating with a group can also be a disadvantage: you influence each other. If you paint too often together, there is a chance that you start to copy each other.

It is also important to realize that it does not matter how fast or slow you paint. It does not say anything about your skill, but rather reflects your personality. This was something that was very discouraging for me at the beginning, because one of my painting buddies paints very fast. Sometimes, it feels like she is almost finished by the time I start. We go on many trips and outings together and have come to an agreement that we will look for spots where she can easily find several angles to paint.

It is also important to realize that we are all unique and as much as we sometimes admire another artist’s work, it is important that we stay true to our personality. We have our own styles and interpretations, and part of the beauty is that we are all creating unique artworks, even if we paint the same scene.

5) Have you collaborated with other artists to jointly create a piece of art?


Until now, we only talked about creating a piece together but we never worked on one artwork. The closest we came to jointly creating art was last September, when we all set up our easels at the same location to paint the sunset in Kamouraska. We could probably put all six pieces as a sequence showing different stages of the sunset.



Kerstin has provided my answers to these same questions on her blog. I invite you to visit her post at: http://kerstinpeterspaintingblog.blogspot.com/


If you would like to join - or put together - your own creative group, here are some items to consider so you can define what you want to get from such a group:

  1. What kind of creative work does the group do, is it restricted to one medium or are other mediums allowed?
  2. Is there a demonstration or workshop during the meeting, or does everyone work without instruction?
  3. Who is part of the group? A mix of skill levels? How about the age group?
  4. Are you all expected to work on the same project, or can you work on your own project?
  5. Will you need to bring your own or purchase extra supplies? How about tables, chairs, easels for an indoor venue?
  6. When does the group meet: day or evening, weekdays or weekends, and how often do they meet?
  7. Is there a fee (if so, it is usually minimal for local events)? If you are looking for multi day outings like a retreat or a painting trip, the costs vary depending on the accommodation and location.
  8. Is regular attendance expected, or can you sign up for individual get-togethers? Do you have to pay a yearly fee, or can you pay on a pay as you go basis?
  9. Does the group work inside or outside, or both depending on weather?
  10. If you are inside and there is oil painting in the group, are you sensitive to the oils or thinners? Are thinners allowed? Are there other art materials or tools used that some people can be sensitive to?
  11. Is there a lot of idle chatter or do the artists mostly focus on their projects (chatter related to the projects is usually fine)? Be honest with yourself. If you need tranquility to work, you will not enjoy an environment with chatter or music in the background.
  12. How far are you willing to travel? Is parking available close by? Is there a cost for parking?
  13. Is there food or coffee/tea available near by? Do you need to bring your own?
  14. Where to find groups: Facebook, art organizations, local art schools and galleries (paid instruction)

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