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"The Sociable Artist", 30th Jan 2017, 6:45 AM #1
megamaster

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So I was just wondering how much you "get out" as an artist.
I know for a lot of us we spend much of our time behind our screens and tablets drawing, and going to online forums to chat.
I think it would be nice to meet more artists in person, and to travel a bit more.

So, how often do you go outside to draw, take an art class, or maybe even participate in a art show?
Also, do you care about connecting with other artists?
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30th Jan 2017, 7:40 AM #2
megamaster

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Haha! but that's the fun in it XD
You have to be a bit more spontaneous, and plus everyone has problems!
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30th Jan 2017, 7:43 AM #3
CNM1654

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Oh, God, it's pretty awful. I like to write as well as draw, and guess what? Most of my friends don't read or understand art at all. Basically, places like this (and Deviant Art before I left) are the only time I get to interact with other artists. Other people just don't understand. I'm glad you brought this up.

Merged Doublepost:

SekaNeko543:I almost never leave my room/house and take pride in it.

But yeah, I can't socialise outside of the internet. Because you don't really have TIME in real life to think up a reply that won't make you seem like you have problems.


I think more people feel that way than you think. But it'll probably become easier. You're 13, right? At 13 I had like zero friends. But of course I was active on the Internet and spent basically all my time with my drawings. I'll be 24 this June and although I'm still not exactly what you'd call sociable, I am a lot better. Getting a part-time job at a home goods store helped a lot. You interact with people (managers, coworkers, customers) all day long, so it's like a crash course in social skills. Why? You really have no choice. I had a manager who basically became my role model, and a lot of coworkers became my good friends. (My coworkers were not the reason I left.) You're too young to get a part-time job, but starting at 16 you will be. I'm not saying you HAVE to or anything, but I'd recommend it.
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30th Jan 2017, 8:31 AM #4
trad118
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As much as I would like to stay covered up in a blanket and never come out, essentially becoming a literal artistic hermit crab in human form, it's very unhealthy. Especially going to Akihabara and having a friend who did that, and seeing what prolonged isolation from reality does to you.

So I try to go for a bit of a walk at times and other times I scream and just need to go to the capital for shopping trips. I don't do anything art related when it comes to social events, simply because I'm not good enough.

Also @Seka: pretty much everyone had problems socialising at a certain stage and isolation makes it worse. The only thing for it is to go out there, really. Travel. Take a walk. Or as the poster above me says, getting a job works wonders.
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30th Jan 2017, 9:04 AM #5
Leafa
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I used to go to a weekly art club where a group of people would meet up and work on our projects together, although it was all a little high brow and i felt a bit silly sitting there drawing comics! (I don't mind feeling a bit silly though.) I'm moving near to London soon for work, and I'm hoping it will be a great opportunity to go to the big comics-related events there and meet some people.

I didn't socialise a lot offline when I was 13 either. I was fine and had friends until I moved schools, and then it felt like everyone was already sorted into cliques and I wouldn't be able to fit in without changing who I was. I started chatting to my old friends through IM, and then gradually found other people to chat to online. In my experience, online friends can be great. They can be a lifeline when things are tough and you're not getting socialisation any other way. Buuuut... meeting up with people in-the-flesh is important too, even for the most insular and introverted person. Sometimes I regret passing up "real-world" opportunities for the safety of online interaction.

My other advice to introverts and people who aren't keen on socialising is that sometimes it helps to become the one who plans events and invites people over. That's kind of counter-intuative, but if you think about it, it gives YOU all of the control: you can plan who comes, what you do and how long for. There are less chances for unpleasant surprises. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you can just invite some people who you think might get along to watch a movie or play games or to an event.
30th Jan 2017, 11:15 AM #6
Damatris
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I'm surprisingly social for a hermit crab of an artist who spends most of her life alone at home.

I meet up almost weekly with a friend to just hang out and work on our comics. It super fun and great way to get a second opinion on things. Sadly, two other of my best friends live in other city so meeting up with them is rarer treat. There's also a monthly (sometimes more often) art group thing where people meet up in some cafe to draw together. That too is really nice and I actually should get back to participating in it after a little break since dates haven't been matching too well with my schedule. I have no trouble drawing around other people so things like that are fun. Years in art school definitely cured me of being too shy to draw where others can see. During summer I also really liked taking a bus to city center so I could claim a spot on the riverbank to doodle in my sketchbook. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I could start that habit again.

I also actively participate in conventions, hosting comic and/or improvisational drawing workshops and sitting behind an artist's alley booth. Normally I have 2 - 4 conventions in a year but last year I went to only one. Planning on starting that again this summer. I really love conventions for their atmosphere and it's super cool to see that I actually have regulars who take part in all the workshops I host or come buy something. :D Although, cons are super exhausting and I'm pretty much dead for days and don't want to see a single soul when I get home. But while I'm there I just channel all the happy energy floating around and enjoy the constant interaction.

And I have two art exhibitions coming up later this year. Both are group exhibitions, one with couple of friends and other is sort of scholarship that was given to four graduating students (tho they are friends too so). I've had exhibitions in the past too so it's not going to be anything new. Taking part in a group exhibition is neat because I feel like there's less pressure but at the same time just enough that you want to push yourself. Especially as I view the other participants as better artists than me. I'd like to have a comic art exhibition sometime but for now everything is just fine art.

Aside from those things, I really do like just meeting other artists and traveling. Even better if I can combine both which I've been lucky enough to do even with several people from the forums.

I think that at some point when I was in my teens I kinda decided that I don't care anymore if I seem a bit strange or awkward and just go for it. And part of my fondness for conventions definitely stems from here because I had to go to those alone for years before I got friends interested in them after I graduated from high school. Ended up befriending some cool people from cons that way.

It is much harder in practice and I still can get awfully anxious beforehand (or during it, or afterwards), fumble it through and make a fool out of myself (or at least feel like I did). But in the end, I find it more fulfilling to do new things and meet new people. Even if they turn out to be fleeting acquaintances. It's actually kinda fun once in a while to have a conversation with someone you know you'll never again see. It makes life feel a little bit more magical and like you're living in some artsy French movie about breaking ennui.

...I do have non-artsy interactions and friends too. Just throwing that out here even if probably 80% of the people I associate with are part of the art scene in one way or another. Those friends just live in other cities than me so I see them a few times a year. Same with family, except I see them more often.
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30th Jan 2017, 12:32 PM #7
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I'm pretty introverted, but I'm not exactly a hermit.

I've got a great group of friends as it stands- some of them are artists, a couple writers and a couple who... actually, I think all the non-artists were in the band with me, so we all do some sort of art. They're amazing people and I could gush about them for hours.

It's been a pain to get to this point, though. My elementary school friends were awful, bullied me and spread rumors about me because I "didn't seem like I believed in Jesus." (Good ol redneck towns). My middle school friends were nuts. Like, there were some artists in that friend group too, but they were so out there- and not in an artistic way, in a "lie about my family to seem cool" or "threaten murder on people" or "constantly start drama".

This year, I finally found some cool pals who I have a lot in common with and are generally nice people... but there's only one (maybe two) who are in my grade, and the overwhelming majority of them are two grades ahead of me... which makes them seniors.

It kinda makes me scared for the next two years, yknow? Once they graduate, my friend group at school goes from 10 people to like, 4, only one of which still being in my grade.

E: and if anyone's wondering why not being in my grade is such a big deal, my classes are super lonely because I have no one to talk to if they're not in them a lot of the time. It's a stupid thing to be complaining about probably.
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30th Jan 2017, 1:26 PM #8
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I guess I have a completely double life.

When I am not arting, I usually work, hang out with friends, having dinners with couple of co-workers after work, I even go to the ER bringing food and just come to chat when I'm feeling bored at home.

There has to be ONE day in a week when I am completely an artist, though. That's when I'm cooping myself to just draw and be an artist. I become an antisocial and doesn't even check my phone that one day.

There's another day where I completely shut down and sleep because night shifts are just brutal, man.
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30th Jan 2017, 1:38 PM #9
Respheal
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Out...side...? Is that that one MMO Reddit talks about sometimes?

I don't really have many IRL friends that live nearby :/ Used to, but most of them moved away, and only a few were into art, and from that bunch only a couple into webcomics so yeah. We pretty much just had a love for video games and anime in common. And I will admit social anxiety in meatspace is definitely a thing preventing me from meeting new people offline.

And this is why I'm so dang sociable online xD
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30th Jan 2017, 2:37 PM #10
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Times I go out as an artist? Practically never. I used to draw while waiting for the bus to work, but I drive now. I don't know anybody else my age irl that draws and has interests in comics\cartooning. Even in high school nobody else in my art classes expressed interest in comics. Shit I was surprised to learn recently that my old town has a comic book shop now. Shame it's an hour away. Not that I know enough about printed comics to really strike up a conversation with anybody anyway...
30th Jan 2017, 2:58 PM #11
Pavchka
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Never. There's currently this "colouring for adults" fad going on, but drawing isn't so hot here. I used to compulsively draw anytime, anywhere and even drew (no pun intended) a little audience once, but I've gotten over it and now only in private.

Otherwise I'm planning on going back to Martial Arts; either Tai Chi or Karate. I'm starting to miss the social aspect of Martial Arts and my gross motor skills and control of my energy (of chi, if you like) have gone down the pooper pretty badly.

@Nyomi:
No, that's not a stupid thing to complain about at all. We're not all social butterflies even if we're lonely and really want some friends. My social history in school wasn't unlike your own. It's blargh.
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30th Jan 2017, 5:57 PM #12
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megamaster:So I was just wondering how much you "get out" as an artist.



So my first instinct to this was to almost hiss and say "no, never, I live in a coffin and I hate going outside"

but when I think about it, alot actually. The majority of my closest friends are artists, plus the way that the curriculum and classes at my school are set up, it's near impossible not to interact with people and develop graphic design relationships along the way.

megamaster:So, how often do you go outside to draw, take an art class, or maybe even participate in a art show??


Sadly never. I'll go outside for inspiration, but I end up going back to my crypt. I've only been in art shows in elementary school, and the I've taken 2 art classes for drawing as a part of my core curriculum, and one intro painting class.

megamaster:Also, do you care about connecting with other artists


Hmm. Why is this question hard to answer for me...
I think that it's always good ,even important in building close artist friends because of their usefulness in critiques and also having artistic minds to "feed" off of or pass ideas back and forth. I also think that there is an innate connectivity that artists share with each other? I would hope? Just being more "creative" brained y'know.

Like I want to meet wierdos so we match and can hate everything in the world together.
1st Feb 2017, 6:09 AM #13
megamaster

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CNM1654:Oh, God, it's pretty awful. I like to write as well as draw, and guess what? Most of my friends don't read or understand art at all. Basically, places like this (and Deviant Art before I left) are the only time I get to interact with other artists. Other people just don't understand. I'm glad you brought this up.

Yeah, I don't think I've run into anyone yet IRL that has been interested in creating comics. The closest I've gotten is a friend of a friend that participates in various creative arts from time to time

Merged Doublepost:

xianyu118:As much as I would like to stay covered up in a blanket and never come out, essentially becoming a literal artistic hermit crab in human form, it's very unhealthy. Especially going to Akihabara and having a friend who did that, and seeing what prolonged isolation from reality does to you.

So I try to go for a bit of a walk at times and other times I scream and just need to go to the capital for shopping trips. I don't do anything art related when it comes to social events, simply because I'm not good enough.

Also @Seka: pretty much everyone had problems socialising at a certain stage and isolation makes it worse. The only thing for it is to go out there, really. Travel. Take a walk. Or as the poster above me says, getting a job works wonders.

I agree, I think social anxiety affects everyone one of us in different ways and at different times. Sometimes just getting out, even if it is not related to art, can be helpful in ways in which you wouldn't expect.

You never know when inspiration will strike ya!

Merged Doublepost:

Leafa:I used to go to a weekly art club where a group of people would meet up and work on our projects together, although it was all a little high brow and i felt a bit silly sitting there drawing comics! (I don't mind feeling a bit silly though.) I'm moving near to London soon for work, and I'm hoping it will be a great opportunity to go to the big comics-related events there and meet some people.

I didn't socialise a lot offline when I was 13 either. I was fine and had friends until I moved schools, and then it felt like everyone was already sorted into cliques and I wouldn't be able to fit in without changing who I was. I started chatting to my old friends through IM, and then gradually found other people to chat to online. In my experience, online friends can be great. They can be a lifeline when things are tough and you're not getting socialisation any other way. Buuuut... meeting up with people in-the-flesh is important too, even for the most insular and introverted person. Sometimes I regret passing up "real-world" opportunities for the safety of online interaction.

My other advice to introverts and people who aren't keen on socialising is that sometimes it helps to become the one who plans events and invites people over. That's kind of counter-intuative, but if you think about it, it gives YOU all of the control: you can plan who comes, what you do and how long for. There are less chances for unpleasant surprises. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you can just invite some people who you think might get along to watch a movie or play games or to an event.

Hey, that's really cool to be involved in an art club! If you don't mind me asking, what made it high brow?

I think joining an already formed friend group can be difficult. For me, meeting new friends is easiest when no one knows each other. It allows you to talk to people one on one without having to thing to much about group dynamics and inside jokes

Also, great advice in terms of setting up events and being a "leader". It gives you a chance to boost your confidence, as you can "control" your interactions more whilst still being sociable.

Merged Doublepost:

Damatris:I'm surprisingly social for a hermit crab of an artist who spends most of her life alone at home.

I meet up almost weekly with a friend to just hang out and work on our comics. It super fun and great way to get a second opinion on things. Sadly, two other of my best friends live in other city so meeting up with them is rarer treat. There's also a monthly (sometimes more often) art group thing where people meet up in some cafe to draw together. That too is really nice and I actually should get back to participating in it after a little break since dates haven't been matching too well with my schedule. I have no trouble drawing around other people so things like that are fun. Years in art school definitely cured me of being too shy to draw where others can see. During summer I also really liked taking a bus to city center so I could claim a spot on the riverbank to doodle in my sketchbook. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I could start that habit again.

I also actively participate in conventions, hosting comic and/or improvisational drawing workshops and sitting behind an artist's alley booth. Normally I have 2 - 4 conventions in a year but last year I went to only one. Planning on starting that again this summer. I really love conventions for their atmosphere and it's super cool to see that I actually have regulars who take part in all the workshops I host or come buy something. :D Although, cons are super exhausting and I'm pretty much dead for days and don't want to see a single soul when I get home. But while I'm there I just channel all the happy energy floating around and enjoy the constant interaction.

And I have two art exhibitions coming up later this year. Both are group exhibitions, one with couple of friends and other is sort of scholarship that was given to four graduating students (tho they are friends too so). I've had exhibitions in the past too so it's not going to be anything new. Taking part in a group exhibition is neat because I feel like there's less pressure but at the same time just enough that you want to push yourself. Especially as I view the other participants as better artists than me. I'd like to have a comic art exhibition sometime but for now everything is just fine art.

Aside from those things, I really do like just meeting other artists and traveling. Even better if I can combine both which I've been lucky enough to do even with several people from the forums.

I think that at some point when I was in my teens I kinda decided that I don't care anymore if I seem a bit strange or awkward and just go for it. And part of my fondness for conventions definitely stems from here because I had to go to those alone for years before I got friends interested in them after I graduated from high school. Ended up befriending some cool people from cons that way.

It is much harder in practice and I still can get awfully anxious beforehand (or during it, or afterwards), fumble it through and make a fool out of myself (or at least feel like I did). But in the end, I find it more fulfilling to do new things and meet new people. Even if they turn out to be fleeting acquaintances. It's actually kinda fun once in a while to have a conversation with someone you know you'll never again see. It makes life feel a little bit more magical and like you're living in some artsy French movie about breaking ennui.

...I do have non-artsy interactions and friends too. Just throwing that out here even if probably 80% of the people I associate with are part of the art scene in one way or another. Those friends just live in other cities than me so I see them a few times a year. Same with family, except I see them more often.


Wow, sounds like you keep busy!

It's great that you're able to participate in conventions and do exhibitions. If you don't mind me asking, where is your general area of residence?
I ask because I'm having a bit of trouble finding conventions and art groups in my area.
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1st Feb 2017, 7:20 AM #14
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I want to do some conventions this year since I've opened a Patreon for my comic. I've got ambitions; I'm not getting any younger. I want to get somewhere eventually and to do so, I must show off my stuff to people. I don't do it because I want to necessarily, it's because I have to. I know it's doable because I believe what I got is special, though in some ways I'm doing it the hard way (not being the artist for one). If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up.
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1st Feb 2017, 8:21 AM #15
Damatris
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megamaster:
Wow, sounds like you keep busy!

It's great that you're able to participate in conventions and do exhibitions. If you don't mind me asking, where is your general area of residence?
I ask because I'm having a bit of trouble finding conventions and art groups in my area.


This probably won't help you since I live in Finland but Tampere. :)

I think I heard about the art group from a friend for the first time but all the organizing/planning happens through facebook. You could try to search for similar groups near you that way. As for conventions, there are a couple that happen where I live but half the time I just travel to another city. It's good thing I like sitting in a bus. I honestly have no idea how I first found info about them 'cause I've been going to those for nearly a decade (which makes me feel suddenly very very old. But I started in early teens as a visitor.) so... They are organized here usually the same date and place each year which makes keeping up with the news easy.
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1st Feb 2017, 8:38 AM #16
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i sometimes feel like i have too many friends and too little time to see them all irl. of course, it's good to have many friends and it changes from time to time which circle i'll socialize more with. i do hole up in my room for days sometimes but gladly don't have any debilitating anxieties about going out. and i have many friends who get art and memes, a few who are more normie-aligned. so it feels good to not feel like an outsider all the time.

my mom said that you make friendships while young and those friendships will do you well when you're old and unable to get out so much. i think that's true but i wonder how oldness will be for us internet people, might be kinda different
1st Feb 2017, 8:54 AM #17
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Eh, my social life is 'k.
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2nd Feb 2017, 9:31 AM #18
LumpanSwe

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SekaNeko543:I almost never leave my room/house and take pride in it.
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But yeah, I can't socialise outside of the internet. Because you don't really have TIME in real life to think up a reply that won't make you seem like you have problems.


haha I also take pride that I almost never leave my house haha
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2nd Feb 2017, 12:33 PM #19
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I'm a bit fed up with how socialising tends to go for me. I cut someone toxic out of my life only to realise he'd been my 'best friend' and only chance to go places with another human. I keep inviting old friends over or to go places, and they are always too busy or ignore me. I make a lot of effort to meet or reconnect with people and it just doesn't work -_- I try to go out as often as I can, but never as an artist. I can't stand to have people see my unfinished art, but maybe I need to change that. I'm very shy and introverted, it doesn't help.

It would be nice to meet other artists, I think. Perhaps I should look into stuff like this.
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14th Feb 2017, 9:54 AM #20
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I can't seem to focus in my house, so I go to coffee shops and libraries to draw. I feel like it's a good way to get out and confirm my suspicion that "other humans" exist. People will occasionally look at what I'm doing, and I'm not great at explaining my comics, but it's kind of fun to show off a little.

I don't really spend time with anyone, though.
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