As I mentioned in Thought No. 7, online groups provide a huge amount of encouragement & support for me as an artist. Still somewhat fledgling in Australia, I am primarily in groups that are based in America or Canada (the groups have members throughout the world, but this is where they are based). I find these groups supportive in that they are awake in the ‘wee’ creative hours, & you can run something by fellow artists, get advice on product, share a challenge & get a miriad of new ways to tackle it. I have also found that I am constantly being introduced to new online resource sites, products & techniques that I never would have come up with on my own. I am involved in swaps all the time. My early experiences of swapping were not great, in fact I was quite disappointed with what I recieved back. I have found from experience that if you ‘sit around’ for a while and look through the online photo albums & blogs (most artists in online groups have them) you get an idea of the calibre of artists that are in the group and then you can choose whether to participate or not. I think that closer ties are made when you get involved in swaps, but regardless it is still valuable.
If you are interested in joining into a swap with me, click the link on the side.
If you are interested in joining (or investigating options) an online group, click below for more details.
CLICK THE LINK
this will take you to the ‘groups’ homepage, from there you can search for a group according to your special interest………ie collage, atc’s, painting, fabric art, etc
To join in, you have to ‘create’ a yahoo identity, which basically like developing a ‘signature name’ for yourself, & keying in your details. Once you have this you can search through the database of groups & if there is something that interests you, you can ‘apply’ to join the group. Most will tell you their joining ‘criteria’ on the front page of the group, which will give you an incling of what’s going on, but it usually is just a glimpse. ‘Applying’ varies from a series of questions, to just asking ‘please can I join’.
Most groups have a ‘photos’ section in the left hand side bar, by clicking this you can view work from other artists in the group. This is usually both inspiring & it gives you a chance to see what style/quality of work is being produced in the group. Then you can choose whether or not you feel comfortable to participate in a swap.
Give it a month or so, cos at first it will seem ridiculous idle chatter, however once you get to know a couple of people & participate in a swap or two, you’ll be bantering away too! LOL!
Although there are great benefits on line, like all good things, there is a rogue element, so I would highly recommend that you keep your virus checker up to date.