Although artists are often perceived as non-conformists who would rather prefer to be enveloped by the silent realm of their solitude than join in the chaos of the world, artists can be as social as anyone else. The only difference is that artists are usually opposed to facing the clamorous noise of maddening crowds and rather like taking refuge in the winding abyss of small intimate gatherings.
For artists, a limited window to the outside world might just be the journey they need in finding their style as well as a way of gaining inspiration for their next projects. Although artists value individuality and authenticity in their work, they also understand how having a supportive community is just as important.
From Impressionists, Surrealists, and modern digital artists, history has shown that art movements are trailblazed by groups of people interested in a common cause. With no community or island in sight, transitioning into the digital world as an artist is terrifying, making you feel isolated and alone. But the actual reality is that you are now a man sailing his ship. And with the right knowledge and skills, you can steer yourself in the direction that is right for you.
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash
Luckily these days, discovering your island does not involve crossing oceans or scouring the jungle just to find your tribe. With a click of a button, you can easily join free online art groups and communities with the help of the internet. Here are some established online resources and communities to help you get started on your journey:
Social Media Channels
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook has become a network that can help people with similar interests to connect virtually. Here, you can easily create groups or events dedicated to certain hobbies and communities. Especially for digital artists, this platform is useful in helping establish credibility and demonstrate creativity all the while using it to promote your work.
With marketing tools integrated into their platform, you create a dedicated product page and market it to groups interested to discuss topics that you are passionate about.
A fantastic tool for art enthusiasts and designers alike, Instagram is a picture blog that uses visuals to attract the attention of its audience. Popular with people who are interested in creating stylized videos with a filter or with a certain aesthetic.
Here, you can easily find profiles of digital artists and can easily engage with their work through the help of comments, direct messages, or sharing via re-blog. Artists with specific art types and unique products often use Instagram to market their brands to pique the interest of their audience and community.
3. YouTube and Twitch
YouTube is an open and easily accessible video-sharing platform that provides entertainment through personal vlogs and mini-documentaries, promotions, and much more. Here you can easily engage with different communities either by being a content creator yourself or joining the live streams of various content creators.
Meanwhile, Twitch is a similar platform geared toward live streaming services aimed at gamers and people interested in gaming content. Check out more about Twitch here.
Artist and Portfolio Websites
Behance is a website that digital artists can use to create a portfolio particularly useful for those pursuing work as graphic artists. Whether packaging design, UI/UX design, or digital graphic design is your interest, you can easily find a niche group of people interested in your work here as well as find jobs related to your skills.
By creating a profile, people can easily share comments as well as contact you regarding your work. You can also see the work of other digital designers within the platform allowing everyone to engage and get feedback on their work. This platform is popular among digital design artists and those looking to hire talent as well as get hired for work.
A platform dedicated to connecting architects around the world, Archinect has a community thread with topics ranging from job searching to academic interests. Here you can easily search and find works by other architects as well as the jobs that they have accomplished or are ongoing.
You can also create your profile and post your works for others to see or as an alternative portfolio that you can share with potential clients.
Online Forums and Websites
Reddit is a text-based social channel that allows discussions of different topics. Member users called redditors can create communities and create posts and instantly connect with people around the world. Other Redditors can upvote or downvote posts as well as comment and discuss topics within specific forums called subreddits.
With millions of users daily, finding niche art forums is not impossible as communities can easily be found within the platform with the help of its search bar and subreddits. Quickly explore digital art communities here through the help of subreddits such as /r/ArtFundamentals, /r/Art, /r/Sketchpad, /r/ArtCrit
The platform that feels like it has been around forever, Deviant Art has been popular with digital artists since the 2000s and can be considered the grandfather of digital art forums. DeviantArt remains to be a recognizable platform where fellow artists can discuss topics and share artworks, especially illustrations involving linework and manga-style drawings. The platform also enables artists to market and sell their products via online posts.
Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash
Conventions and Local Community Events
Despite all these available channels and platforms online for digital artists to engage in, it is still helpful for an artist to participate in their community by participating in local events and functions. You might just get that inspiration you need by listening to stories of different people you meet offline.
Beyond engaging in social media and other digital platforms, cross-collaboration between digital art and the physical world is a good way to integrate tech and art in this modern world.
With the global reach of social media and the speed of sharing work on art-focused platforms, an artist can design freely and express their creativity online. Social media has enabled an artist to be able to put out work and be seen almost instantly by the digital world.
Perception and brand image have become the currency of the digital world where an artist can be the brand or find solace in working behind a different persona.
From Da Vinci to Albert Einstein, people often thought that an artist’s innate “lone genius” is what allowed them to achieve herculean tasks and life-changing discoveries. But the truth is that we cannot discount the fact that their accomplishments are also by-products of years and years of failing and sometimes asking for feedback from their peers.
With the increasing demand for digital art installations and the advent of AI artworks, the challenges for an artist in the modern world are proving to be as complex and diverse as ever. By joining art communities online and offline, navigating the changing digital art landscape can become a bearable and enjoyable experience.