Having supportive friends can make a big difference to your life. Getting support for your creative endeavours from people you know can give you confidence and inspire your work. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing friends in an audience at one of your performances, at an exhibition or other similar events where you have work displayed. It is also important to support creative friends and to celebrate their accomplishments.
Recently the ukulele group that Ellie and I help run performed at a local community festival. We had a lot of fun entertaining the crowd and it was great to see the smiling faces of family and friends who came out to support us in the audience. It boosted our performance. After the event I realised the several of the friends that we had invited had not turned up, even though they had said they would attend and had not sent any apologies.
I was disappointed because in the past these friends have been quite insistent that we inform them when our ukulele group has scheduled a performance so they could come. For many years we have been playing our instruments at their parties, but when our uke group actually performs, not many show up. It was a free concert and in the same area where some of them lived so it would not have taken a big effort to be there, but I guess you can’t make people attend.
Who would want to be the sort of person that can’t be bothered to be a supportive friend? It is important to help out your friends even when you are busy. Don’t just nod and say something is great. Follow through and go to their events and exhibitions.
If you really like a friend’s artwork and have the funds, buy one and display it in your home. If you can’t afford an original artwork buy a print or a card of their work. An author would really appreciate you buying a copy of their book to read. Or if music is their medium, buy a CD or a download. The least you can do is spread the word that their work is available for purchase.
Take some photos or video the event and give your friend copies. When an artist is performing or talking to people at an exhibition opening, often it is family and friends who can record the occasion. After all the hours of preparation for something that is over in a short time, it is priceless to have a record.
If you cannot attend send an apology and congratulate them for their achievement. It is also thoughtful to send them a bottle of wine to celebrate or a card of congratulations. Show you care.
And if you never get the support for your art from some people, don’t invite these repeat offenders to your creative events. They do not define you or your work. Positive energy generates more so save your efforts for those who do give you support and don’t take them for granted. Make sure you thank your family and friends for coming and that they know any help they may have given has been greatly appreciated.
Anything that you can do to support your creative friends is valuable and is the most basic thing you can do for both the arts and friendship. Be the type of friend you want to have. It matters.
One of the ultimate songs about friendship is The Beatles With a Little help from My Friends. Here is a version from 2009 with Paul and Ringo performing the song live.