The other day, we received an interesting question in our inbox. A lovely guy who had been following our adventures asked us: how do you guys do to surround yourselves with creatives?
As a creative, it’s just so important (even, essential) to surround yourself with like-minded people. In other words: finding your tribe. Whatever you do, it’s so incredible to hang out with people who inspire you and challenge your thoughts! I believe that every single person who I’ve met has inspired me in some way and has formed who I am today. In fact, the matryoshka tattoo that I have on my arm symbolizes exactly this: like a russian doll, our personality is the combination of layers from our previous selves, of which are influenced by the experiences and the people who cross our paths.
It can indeed quite hard to meet other creatives, especially if you travel often and you’re on the go. We used to regularly meet lovely people when we’d be in Luxembourg and we honestly did not expect to keep meeting creative souls all over the world. But then we did. We have met incredible people wherever we have lived, and I thought, well, let’s de-bunk the “how” of it all. How did we make that a possibility?
Networking is typically something that happens on a local level. And we love to have the chance to meet new people every now and then! Now that we’re nomads and have turned our life/business into a location-independent one, it’s quite tempting to move to different places very often, yet we quickly came to the decision to travel slow and stay at each place for at least 1 month. Not only is it less exhausting (and more budget-friendly), but it allows us to get a feel of how the local vibes really are.
BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE
Setting roots is lovely, but of course it gets even better if you do so at the right place. In every new city/location we go to, we always do some research in order to find “where” the creative types live, and we try to find accommodation there if your budget allows. Typically, city centers and CBDS are not so attractive when it comes to that – there are more banks & corny tourist attractions than artsy vibes. So we look for where those casual, easy-going neighborhoods are instead. This is the stuff we like anyway, so we’re pretty sure we’ll meet people who like the same things there.
In Melbourne where we are at the moment, there are many neighbourhoods like that. We currently live in Fitzroy and it’s amazing. It’s a really quirky, interesting neighborhood with many art galleries, up-cycling shops, eateries, old factories and warehouses turned into market spaces/creative offices/whatever you can imagine. It feels like it’s made for people like ourselves!
GETTING OUT THERE
Once you’re in the right place, why not explore what the local creative community is doing? We always like to check when there are some cool creative events in the area (our current host who’s an artsy type has also helped with that!). It’s so much fun to check out markets, shop openings, gatherings, street food festivals, gigs, gallery exhibitions – those usually have free drinks which is pretty nice 😉
I would rather do something like this than visit a crowded tourist trap – anytime, really. Just last sunday we found a lovely artisan market at the end of our street and got to meet amazingly talented makers: illustrators, potters, jewellery makers, food trucks, florists, even organic pop-up hairdressers. Even if you’re introverted, it gets easier to chat with someone if they’re following a creative path that you’re curious about. It’s so nice to know more about them, their craft, their story. Who knows? Maybe that conversation turns into a coffee date with a new friend. And even if it doesn’t, you’ll at least feel fuelled with inspiration for days to come.
There are so many inspiring souls that we met this way and it truly warms my heart 🙂
SOCIAL MEDIA IS POWERFUL
Sometimes, these things alone are not enough. Of course, you might feel a bit lonely and clueless when you get somewhere new. It takes time to feel at ease. And yes, to be honest, the chances that you make your next creative soulmate just by walking in the street is low, especially if you’re shy, or extremely introverted. Don’t worry if you are, though. Social media is incredible for networking as well.
We always like to scout instagram to find what interesting creatives there are in the area we live in. Just by looking through instagram with a location filter, it gets pretty interesting. You might find lovely artists, bloggers, photographers, illustrators… etc etc… And it just tickles your curiosity!
If we love what they do, we might interact with them, leave a few comments and share the love. You know, #communityovercompetition, all the way. Sometimes it’s mutual because they like what we do too – in that case we might even get to meet them in person. Even though it doesn’t happen that often that the “online” relationship becomes an “offline” one, when it does, it’s pretty nice! We have met people this way in every place we’ve been these last few months – I really miss some of them and can’t wait to see them again. In the meantime, I love to follow what they’re up to.
Facebook groups are pretty great too. If you’re a digital nomad like we are (even though I am not a fan of this term), well, you’ll be satisfied. There are thousands of groups for nomads. The local ones connect people who are at the same place. While this is not great for meeting LOCAL creatives, it’s great to meet other creatives who just happen to be there at the same time as you are, like other travellers, nomads, expats or whatever you want to name it. A facebook group allows you to literally ask what you’re looking for (“Any creatives here? Anyone want to collaborate with me/meet up/whatever?”) and see what happens.
There you have it, my friends! Whether you’re a nomad or not, I think these few tips may help you to meet like-minded folks in your area. I’m so grateful for all the people that we’ve met, online and offline, that I wouldn’t want you to miss out on it. It’s just so nourishing.
And guys, if you’re creatives as well, leave us a comment, let us know what you do and where from. Don’t be shy. Who knows, maybe we meet someday!
The photograph for this post has been shot & hand-lettered by us as usual! If this inspires you and you’d like to collab, just get in touch 🙂