Part of the fun of buying handmade goods is discovering the interesting artists behind them. A purchase often allows us to briefly step into the creative world of the artisan, which is usually a very interesting place. So where can you hang out with the artists that interest you, and discover new ones that may become new favorites?
Artists often can be found hanging around the handmade venue forums such as etsy, zibbet, or artfire. Discussions focus mostly on issues specific to selling artisan goods or site usage. Some have promotional sections where you can find artists announcing new lines or sales. As with any new group, it’s usually a good idea to lurk for awhile before posting to get a feel for things before diving into a discussion.
Zibbet’s forum is based on a “ning” group, which gives it more features (groups, artists pages, etc.) and makes it somewhat more interesting than a standard venue forum once you get the hang of it. To use it you must join it separately from the Zibbet site.
A promising new community called The Hive has sprung up recently that allows artists, hobbyists, and patrons to find favorites, form groups, read each other’s blogs, and keep up with specific areas of interest. Shows and art events are posted and can be pulled up by place and time, and the member directory is organized by category so those who like a specific type of work can easily find artists and others with similar interests. It’s a good place to look for new creative blogs since artists can automatically feed their blog posts to the site (which also helps to keep it fresh).
So find and join an online artists’ community to discover others who share your enthusiasm for handmade goods! If you have a favorite, please comment below!