We formed a group of 5 artists in the spirit of business and friendship. It’s taken us on adventures we never imagined.

You can listen to our interview on Artist’s Network at

and on Blogtalk Radio at

We hope you’ll run out and start a collaboration of your own when you do!

Sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses. Doing so in a vineyard that’s been around since biblical times is pretty cool.

Our group toured Venice for inspiration. Here is our recipe for starting a successful art mentoring group.

Choose 4 to 6 like minded people who you want to work with.

Choose people who are easy to work with and drama free.

In just two years, our current membership have had adventures together in Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Tokyo, Venice. But most of our work and building of relationships has been online. We live all across the globe, and meet monthly on Google Hangouts. Your members’ goals and personalities are more important than where they reside.

Allow a year or more for members to get to know each other and each others’ businesses. A good way to do this is to talk monthly about ways to support each other. Discuss social media, building email lists, getting gallery representation, licensing, or whatever topics appeal to you.

Once you are all familiar, begin working on projects together. We organized art shows at galleries and WaterWorks Museum in MT, and Customs House Museum in TN. Now we are setting goals and looking at the big picture. We are talking about what the future holds for WAM-Women.Artists.Mentors.

Always allow for flexibility. Not all members need to participate in all activities. If you make projects and attendance mandatory, your members will quickly feel overburdened and your group will dissolve.

Set goals and work toward them. When opportunities knock, pursue them enthusiastically. It won’t be long before your group has a shared history to build on.

Take stock regularly. Make sure nobody feels like their time is being wasted. Group activities should be fun AND productive. Otherwise, throw them overboard. As you grow in business and friendship, your group’s goals will grow.

Enjoy the fruits of your labors. If your group is all work and no fun, you’ll be missing out on the best part of collaborations.

Make sure to keep communications open and friendly. Your successes will depend on this.

Water the plants regularly. Don’t focus solely on the group. Look at each member and think of ways to support them on their individual journeys.

Don’t air dirty laundry. What happens in Venice, stays in Venice….unless it ends up in a beautiful painting.

Use the group resources to help each other. If a member need assistance, band together and throw them that life preserver.

Keep your eyes on the prize. SO much more can be accomplished when artists work together, vs. when we compete with each other.

No obstacle is insurmountable. Give each other a leg up, and another leg up, and persevere.

Then relax with your beverage of choice and a toast to each other.

Stay hydrated.

Say a prayer.

Aim for the light.

Ring some bells.

Put pen to paper and get to work.

All your efforts will produce the most delicious of experiences.

And yours will be a light that inspires others.

There will be rainy days, but even those are colorful. Enjoy! Inspire! Create!