Last evening was a meeting of a small local fibre art group I belong to. We have a few business items--nothing earth shattering, and then an interactive "show'n'tell", (although most of us hate the term.) The interaction is lively and the comments honest. It's this honesty that most of us crave, and need.
I also have a friend, an art photographer, with whom I often share a coffee and conversation at the local donut shop. ( Doesn't Tim Horton's love it when we come in toting a large box of photos to discuss! LOL) But we trust each other to give an honest critique. It's helpful that we both have the experience and trust to critique in a helpful way. Our last conversation ( earlier this week) lead to the discussion of a potential collaboration, and we've actually picked one of her photos that may result in this. I'm looking at the photo as an inspiration for the piece I need for an upcoming show--about a year away.
The group I met with last night is sponsoring the show, and I now have permission to use this collaborative process for my show entry. The concept, although a sort of esoteric abstract on my part, has been approved as being in line with the show theme.
It is amazing how this sort of honest conversation, and associated approval, has invigorated my creativity. However fleeting they may prove to be, it has given me a sense of direction, and a focus for my time management. This proves, to me, at least, how valuable this sort of group can be. In my case, I believe, it is an essential part of the process.