Creative Digest

Jo Atherton

Christmas is a typical period of reflection, as we consider our achievements of the past twelve months and look towards the new year, perhaps with ambitions of trying something new. This month's article asks whether you might consider volunteering with Herts Visual Arts. It could be just the challenge you are looking for in 2016.

Herts Visual Arts is run by an enthusiastic voluntary Organising Group who are always on the look out for more people to help with the running of our arts organisation.

The benefits of you dedicating your time to Herts Visual Arts are obvious, but volunteering can also bring many benefits to the individual too. It can be a wonderful way of meeting new friends who share a common interest. We are all artists, and to find another person who is also on the same creative path can offer wonderful support and the chance to share ideas.

The life of an artist can at times be solitary and feelings of isolation are common across the creative community. By volunteering with others who are familiar with the struggles of an artistic life can be a great way of connecting with people who understand. Working together on developing our countywide arts organisation is a fantastic way of meeting people, overcoming shyness and directly helping the community.

There is much to be said for working together in a team towards a common goal. No matter how small your input, be it talking to members of the public about the work of HVA at an event, or assisting with the promotion of Open Studios, volunteering is ultimately helping others and your efforts will go a long way to support the creative community in Hertfordshire, whilst raising your own profile.

It's never too late to learn a new skill and if you are looking to work in the creative industries, volunteering on a project may be just the experience that will set you ahead of the competition. Perhaps you are interested in blogging to share your ideas with a wider audience, or maybe you are a fantastic proof reader looking for some experience. Volunteering can provide demonstrable interest in the arts, whilst expanding your skills set. Helping to promote the work of HVA could really enhance your CV.

Finally, there is much to be said for the value of meeting with other artists. It is a great way of networking as a means to find out about local opportunities, be it potential locations to exhibit, calls for entry or even the recommended art fairs to apply to in our region. Herts Visual Arts really benefits from the time our volunteers generously give, but there is much to be said for the advantages it brings to the individual too.

We currently have vacancies in the organisation, so why not take a look and see whether there are any activities you would like to get involved in.  Make 2016 the year you try something new.