Other Artists Are Your Best Friends

Other Artists Are Your Best Friends

Any artist worth his or her salt is part of a larger arts community. Other artists are not your competition; other artists are your colleagues—and, I think you’ll find, your best friends.

I once lived in a town with lots of artists but no community. Everyone worked in their own frustrated little bubble. I tried to begin a monthly get-together, somewhere we could each share what we were doing.

But there was strong pushback. “I don’t want to meet with other artists, because someone might steal my ideas,” one artist complained.

“You paint kittens,” I sighed. “I doubt your work is going to change the course of art history. And no idea is completely original; ideas are for sharing.”

Other artists are the only ones who will know how you can overcome a technical challenge, where you can find the materials you need, and what you are going on about when you talk about your work incessantly.

Other artists will fill your shows because they’re the only ones who understand how much effort you’ve put into them. Other artists are your best resource for information as well as inspiration.

So consider joining an arts community. Contribute your knowledge and be as generous as you possibly can, always resisting that urge to hold back.

Your arts community is the best place to practice karma. The art gods smile favorably on those who give to other artists.

Crista Cloutier is an artist who writes. She’s the founder of The Working Artist, online business program for visual artists of all media. Visit to join her mailing list and you’ll also receive a free gift.


  1. […] This is a really short article with a really simple yet important message. Crista Cloutier writes in the article about her experience trying to start a monthly get together with the artist in her town. Cloutier then explains how the pros of being in an artist community outweigh the threat of having your artwork copied by someone else, which the artist community calls art thieves. While the article at times is somewhat odd, I agree with the points that Cloutiers made. […]

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