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Whether you consider yourself a painter, a digital artist, or prefer sculpture, creating your art can be isolating. It is always better to join an art association as it is a great way to connect to artistic communities, learn from other artists and enhance your skills. Most artists experience the common feeling of solitariness that comes with being in the art field. Many artists work alone in their studios with music for company. For some it may be the best way to work, for others working in small groups is more rewarding. It may be perhaps because access to a community of artists isn't available or it may be because you are just venturing out to be an artist. Regardless of what seems to hold you back, an artist community of similarly-minded individuals can help improve painting practices. Discoveries and improvements can happen when an artist shares their thoughts and work with other artists. Art can be a very insular occupation. This is one of the reasons some artists choose to join an association with the hope of gaining inspiration and enlightenment from activities as well as meeting like-minded people.

Meeting with an artist community, whether it be 2 or 20 can help to motivate you in your work. Whether it motivates you to push yourself a little harder with quality because your work will be seen or if you are motivated to finish a piece, this community can help you to accomplish these goals. An artistic community will help you realize that the more people you know, the better. It does not always have to be powerful and influential, but rather the more people in general that you meet and have an honest, real conversation.

What is an art association?

At its basic level, an art association is a group of members who appreciate and create art, in whatever form. It is a great way to find events in your area, and display your work and network. Some associations hold auctions or regular lecture series or own galleries to display the artwork of their members. A healthy thriving club will be one whose membership welcomes many age groups and all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals.

How do you choose the right place for you?

There are many associations to choose from, and most of them come down to personal preference. There are art associations that only deal with preferred mediums or some which accept all art styles. Whatever you choose, you are likely to find a nonprofit trade association that you may want to become a member of!

What happens at art associations?

It depends on each association. The traditional group will offer one or more exhibition opportunities per year. Sales are encouraged through this venture. Other activities include coach trips and competitions as well. The purpose however is to present itself as a resource for the art show community and to focus on indoor, and outdoor art and fine craftwork shows. Some are dedicated to preserving the art of representative oil paintings such as portraiture and landscape art. All associations will generally work to promote appreciation education and awareness of the preferred style and medium.

Should you join an art association and what are the benefits?

As mentioned previously in this article, an art association is a good place to connect with other artists and improve your skills. And if you are serious about your art career and want to move forward, an art association will be of wonderful use.

Meeting and mixing with others on the same learning journey

Learning from professional artists and demonstrators

Painting together and learning from each other

Opportunities to exhibit and sell work

You make connections

Associations provide fantastic networking opportunities. Relationships are always important in the art world, not only with other artists but with potential collectors and gallery owners. Participation is key, whether you have worked with them or not. The more involved you are; the more people you will meet. Gathering with other artists, whether online or in person, can help to boost your motivation and set intentional goals. Not only will a community of artists encourage you to get things done, but they can inspire you to try new things. Many artists who may be ahead of you can help by giving advice and sharing tips and experiences.

Enhance your art career

Participating in an artist association and its exhibitions can build your resume and earn your recognition. Artist associations are also a great way to get feedback so you can continue to grow. Some of the greatest ideas are built by experiencing other art and in conversations with other artists. Someone may have a way of saying or expressing themselves in a new way which may create a spark. The more often you have conversations about art, the more often you develop new ideas to move forward in your career.

Gain knowledge

Make sure to attend association exhibitions if possible. Shows often do a reception and awards presentation where you can not only see all the work but meet the judges and other artists. Many host educational programs parallel to the exhibitions

As you can see, joining an Art Association is a brilliant way for an amateur or an experienced artist to gain more exposure and learn new skills and techniques.