Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Validating Community

Sunday night I got together with two good friends of mine, Robin Roberts and Ben Seibert. A little sangria with vegan pizza (and too much tobacco) later, it was 2:15 in the morning!

Ben worked with me at my university job I held for the last 10 years. This is his third year, and he's one of the best production managers I have ever met. He's fighting an uphill battle given the production parameters at that school, but he's a real trooper. He's gonna win, come heck or highwater.

Robin was the set designer there. She and Ben worked very closely. I didn't have a costume shop manager for my experience there, but my former position as designer became a costume shop management position, so I guess they have one now...

Anyway, we talked about all manner of things (mostly about our experiences at the university), but we also talked about art in general and our hopes for our individual creative futures. And that's what has been the most heartening... While we can be pretty negative when the three of us get together (hey, we're theatre people--we bitch) we also were very positive and interested in each other's artistic endeavors.

I just want to say that's incredibly important. I can't say how vital it is for a creative artist to have a group of friends. Not only is it important career-wise for an artist to have a larger circle of interested parties for their livelihood, and a community that they participate in as an important contributor, but it's really necessary for an artist to have a family. Friends that not only show interest, but genuine concern for each other. The sense of validation this provides is unmeasurable. The self-worth that it engenders is irreplaceable.

I recently got some tickets for some friends of mine (in a different segment of my life) to attend a show I had worked on. Rarely do my circles of friends overlap--when they do, it's surreal for me--so it's very uncommon for my friends to see any of my professional theatrical design work. Well, this time, it happened. And they were incredibly appreciative. They loved it! And it was an incredible ego boost for me to hear it! It was inspiring not because I needed to hear I did a good job, but that they could be there for me in the future.

Community is important. Friends are important. Make sure you're supporting their work.

So I finally have my Etsy store up, and today I started my Artfire store. You can find links to both of them at the bottom of my main blog page. Check'em out and let me know what you think.

Live life with Relish!


  1. I just had to comment on your post...
    I was just having a conversation about this very thing today. I was having tea with a painter friend of mine; we were talking about our goals and fears, and how vital it was to have the company of others for mutual support (and bitching).

    Checked out your Etsy store - the gold rose winter coat is stunning! Beautiful work.

  2. Lola, thank you so much for your comment! I'm beginning to understand that as a theatre person, I had it easy--theatre is usually done by a group of people, so it's easy to develop community as we all work together a lot. But painting... That's more of a solitary thing, so I can imagine that having those friends to share tea with are even more important. It's good to hear your friend is not alone! : )


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