Having just been in Paris, strolling along the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, daydreaming about the Picassos and Hemingways and other creative people who rose to fame in the creative capital of the world, I had to wonder just how important it is to live around people who love to create just like you do. Does it help? Was it just a coincidence that these great creative minds were able to produce so much during that time period? Does where you live and who you live around matter?
I read Stealing Like an Artist and author Austin Kleon suggests you can build your own community. For example, online. Is this the 21st century version of a creative referent group?
The answer is I don’t know. I was in the Shakespeare and Co. book store in Paris perusing their books and reading their bulletin board notes about writers looking for other writers and various groups you could join and I longed for the same where I live. I don’t even know what the writing scene looks like today in Paris, but the 1920s version sure sounds dreamy…at least the stories.
For now, my referent group of creativity seems to be with the likes of this guy:
He told me his story was about himself in a cave with two holes and a rod and something that stuck in his head until he got it out with the help of this “thing” with long arms. I love to watch his creativity grow and stretch and the excitement in his eyes as he creates stories with his imagination. Honestly? It totally inspires me to keep pushing the boundaries of my own creativity. So I guess Austin Kleon is right. You can build your “community” anywhere. For now my creative referent group isn’t the colorful streets of Montmartre with free-flowing wine and bumping into other creative people in the Place Tertre. For now my creative referent group is right here at home, and it starts with me. wr