If you are an artist who wants to collaborate with other artists, share resources and ideas, and create a supportive community, you might be interested in starting an artist collective. An artist collective is a group of artists who work together on projects, exhibitions, events, and other activities that promote their artistic vision and values.
Artist collectives can take many forms and sizes, depending on the goals and preferences of the members. Some collectives are formal and structured, with a clear mission statement, membership criteria, and decision-making process. Others are informal and flexible, with a loose network of friends who help each other out and have fun.
In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to start an artist collective that suits your needs and aspirations.
Starting Your Artist Collective
- Define your purpose and vision. Before you start looking for other artists to join your collective, you need to have a clear idea of why you want to start one and what you hope to achieve with it. What kind of art do you want to make? What kind of audience do you want to reach? What kind of impact do you want to have? What kind of values do you want to uphold? Having a clear purpose and vision will help you attract like-minded artists who share your passion and enthusiasm.
- Find your core members. Once you have defined your purpose and vision, you need to find other artists who are interested in joining your collective. You can start by reaching out to your existing network of friends, colleagues, classmates, mentors, or peers who work in the same or similar fields as you. You can also use social media, online platforms, forums, newsletters, or events to connect with potential members. You don’t need to have many members at the beginning; it’s more important to have a core group of committed and compatible artists who can work well together and support each other.
- Establish your structure and rules. After you have found your core members, you need to decide how you will organise and run your collective. You need to agree on some basic aspects such as: How often will you meet? How will you communicate? How will you make decisions? How will you handle conflicts? How will you manage finances? How will you distribute responsibilities? How will you recruit new members? How will you evaluate your progress? You can choose to have a formal or informal structure, depending on your preferences and needs. You can also choose to have a leader or a coordinator or opt for a more democratic or horizontal approach. Whatever structure and rules you choose, make sure they are clear, fair, and consistent for everyone.
- Plan your projects and activities. Once you have established your structure and rules, you can start planning your projects and activities as a collective. You can brainstorm ideas for what kind of art you want to create, where you want to exhibit or perform it, how you want to promote it, and who you want to collaborate with. You can also plan other activities that can help you grow as artists and as a collective, such as workshops, residencies, grants, festivals, publications, etc. You can use tools such as calendars, spreadsheets, task lists, or project management software to organise your plans and keep track of your progress.
- Enjoy the process and the results. Starting an artist collective can be challenging but also rewarding. You will have the opportunity to learn from other artists, expand your network, showcase your work, reach new audiences, create social change, and have fun along the way. Remember that an artist collective is not a fixed or static entity; it is a dynamic and evolving one that can change over time according to the needs and desires of its members. Be open to feedback, experimentation, adaptation, and innovation. Enjoy the process of creating art together and celebrate the results of your collective efforts.