Understanding How Community Can Help You Grow As An Illustrator
The three rings of community you need to grow as an illustrator.
1. The first ring is one-on-one relationships. These are the nurtured connections you have with the people around you. Folks you're able to turn to for advice, support, help, and people that show up for you when you need it. These connections are super important to any creative. They come in handy when needing inspiration, resources, or someone to bounce ideas off.
2. The second ring is the people closest to you - your immediate community. These are other illustrators or creatives, close family & friends, mentors, or a group of people that support you no matter what. They are the people you can collaborate with. They have skills that you can tap into to help you grow. Your accountant friend can help you set up payments when you land a project. Your neighbor, that's a lawyer, can help you understand the contracts you're signing. And your friend group that will help sell out the t-shirts you illustrated. Your immediate community are the people you will always need in your corner.
3. The third ring is your audience. They are the people who will appreciate your work from afar, are consistently interactive, and engage with your social platforms. They are other illustrators, or artist you've worked with. They are potential clients you would like to work with in the future. This ring of community is what keeps you growing, and they will be the ones to spread the word about your art to others you aren't able to reach.
Establishing who is in these circles for you and clearly understanding how they can help you grow is key to a sustained commercial illustration career.