COLUMN: Support for creative people

Now that you’ve issued yourself a creative challenge, it’s time to find a creative support group.

Now that you’ve issued yourself a creative challenge and had a chance to take a course to improve your some aspect of your creative abilities, it’s time to find a creative support group.

Now, when I say a creative support group, I don’t mean a place you can go to help wean yourself away from your artistic leanings, I mean quite the opposite.

Sometimes, especially when you’re in the middle of doing a creative challenge like I suggested a few weeks back, having a group of people around you who are doing the same thing, or are interested in doing the same thing, or who have done the same thing, is just what you need.

It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of the lone artist cranking out material in obscurity, but the reality is that being a part of a group of some sort can actually very helpful.

Regular meetings, discussions and events with people who are all interested in the same kind of thing as you has a lot of added benefits, besides just getting you out of the house on a regular basis.

For one, they’re excellent sounding boards for whatever project you’re working on — especially if you’re having a bit of trouble with some aspect of what you’re doing and all your usual tricks to get things moving again aren’t working.

Even if all you do is just meet up for coffee once a week, or every couple of weeks, and just chat about stuff, getting out and talking with another artist (or writer or musician) can often serve as a good way to turn your brain off the problem at hand and just relax.

Not only that, but if you’re in a position where you can all set up and do your thing, even better.

You can take advantage of the getting caught up in the excitement of a working close to so many others and, as an added bonus, you can often take what you’re working on in surprising directions when you’re exposed to techniques and ideas that you might not otherwise be exposed to.

As usual, we’re lucky here in Summerland to have such a nice selection of groups like this that you can join or think about joining.

Everything from pottery and painting to baking and writing groups can be found here in Summerland to help your creativity thrive. If you happen to looking for a group that doesn’t exist, a quick post online or a note on one of Summerland’s community bulletin boards will almost definitely bring out at least one other person who’s been looking for the same thing.

Happy creating!

Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at dgpaton80@gmail.com.