If you’re a graphic designer, writer, actor, aspiring filmmaker, visual artist and or musician, you might find that between practicing your craft, trying to book gigs, finding places to display your art, hustling at your day job, and maintaining social media presence, there’s little time for facilitating your creative community.
Tunnel vision can all too easily take over, however, surrounding yourself with other creatives is vital to the lifeblood of your art. Creative community is extremely important in helping to not burn out, plus you never know who you might meet who can help to make a connection that will further your goals, but there’s always the question of where to go to meet other creatives.
Started by Tina Roth Eisenberg in New York City, Creative Mornings is a free organization endeavoring to create just such a meeting platform. Many cities in the U.S. are hosting its monthly events, yet it is also a worldwide network of artists of all types.
Here you can meet and interact with other people in your scope of interest. You might find out about film projects you could contribute music to, get introduced to a gallery owner who’s looking for artists to exhibit and hear wonderful artists of all kinds speak monthly. Each city has its own variety of local speakers who fill you in on how they’ve achieved their success, struggles they still have, and obstacles they’ve overcome. It’s a wonderful gathering of like-minded people.
One of my favorite appearances at a meeting this year in my chapter in Raleigh, N.C. was that of Tarish Pipkins. He is a puppeteer who made the amazingly lifelike puppets for the “Where They From” video for Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams.
Pipkins is not only a talented puppeteer but uses his talent to work with autistic children. He talked about how his puppets help the kids to interact and communicate in an environment where they usually find that very difficult.
Another of my Creative Mornings favorites was the founder of the Art of Cool, Dr. Cicely E. Mitchell, Ph.D. The Art of Cool is a jazz presenting nonprofit in Durham, N.C. whose goal is to promote jazz-influenced music. The Art of Cool Festival has become one of the top jazz fests in the U.S. Last year, they hosted Terrace Martin who’s worked with Kendrick Lamar, and other jazz greats like Thundercat. Mitchell’s organization does a lot to keep jazz in schools and promote students having access to instruments as well.
As creatives, with our day-to-day schedules and overbooked lives, we can get bogged down, feeling like other people don’t seem to share our vision. Having a creative community can help bolster you and create a scaffolding for the dreams you’re building board by board, nail by nail. Seeing and interacting with so many others who have their own artistic aspirations can keep your fire ignited.
Though it’s not easy to make time for one more thing, I promise you, that if you make time for networking with organizations like Creative Mornings, your returns will be greater than you thought possible.