Creative Support - Are you getting what you need?
Are you creatively supported? Support comes in many forms, but without the proper help, an artistic endeavor or collaborative effort can wither and fade. So where does this "support" come from? Where should we be looking for that extra encouragement, aid or underwriting? It's people! Agents of change are PEOPLE! People! (In the voice of Charleston Heston from Soylent Green) Seriously, relationships are how the human world works. Creative support is about relationships.
Now, I know that you think the support you're looking for is monetary. If you only had the money, you'd be able to complete your creative project. I dig. But what happens when you're done? Are you going to share your art? Are you looking for any kind of artistic verification? At some point in the creative process, EVERYONE needs another person to provide a variety of supportive needs. And that person, or people, should be from your own creative Field.
Before I discuss some of the basics Creative Fields provide, let's get on the same page regarding who and what the "Field" is and how it functions. The Field is all the people involved directly or indirectly within a select and unique domain of expression. Yes, domains of expression can have multiple groups and subgroups. The Field are the people who are part of the community or culture of a particular form. Painters are with painters, musicians with musicians. If you're a filmmaker, you should include yourself in that Field, even if you're just starting out. In fact the biggest shock young artists find is how reactive rather than proactive their Field actually behaves. You have to find a way to get yourself in front of your Field because they're not going to come looking for you. And getting in front of your Field is absolutely necessary to get the support you need.
Most established Fields have strong connections to social systems. We all talk and share with similar artists and creators. If a musician is in love with blues and old school R&B they'll gravitate to other musicians with similar interests. All disciplines contained within the humanities and sciences, including the outstanding, collect and associate. This is all very natural... creativity congregates. It's your job as part of a particular Field to do the research and meet the people who'll be influential for your creative endeavors.
Finding support in your chosen field can also be influenced by the scope of the Field. There might be broad or narrow filters that your particular field works within. This is how "good" art is usually separated from "not so good". In other words, if you want to "make it big" as a theatre actor you probably need to visit, if not live, in Manhattan. Los Angeles gets screen actors and screenwriters because that's where those domains live. Nashville gets musicians. Fields congregate. If you're living in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, your field's scope is going to be very narrow. Artists and creative people gravitate to where their passions are accepted and appreciated the most.
So, who are the people in your Fields?
Thanks so much for reading! In my next blog I'll discuss what we as Creatives get from our Fields. What does our Fields provide?
If you're interested in learning more and truly taking an exploration into creativity you can join me March 15th! I'll be hosting the Creator's Workshop at the Little Five Points Community Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It's a full day workshop that requires registration so please send me an email if you, or someone you know, is interested. Slots are filling up as I type this article! See the workshop poster below for more info or head to the Creator's Workshop page of my website. Do it!