When I walked into Sourced for the first time and met Michelle and the studio manager, Jaclyn, I was on the nervous side. Talking about my art and meeting new people has never been the most comfortable for me.
But the first thing I noticed was how warm and welcoming they were. How adorable and love-filled the space was. And how much they were genuinely interested in my story and excited to create an event that would celebrate the series of work I’d spent so long working on.
I felt instantly at home and this really set the tone for the two months I would spend as the artist in residence here.
Before applying to the program, I was feeling lost about my next steps as an artist. I had a body of work almost completed that I felt proud of, but I didn’t know where or how I would show it.
I had an active online presence and did okay selling my work here and there, but I felt isolated in my day-to-day experience. I didn’t know how to plug into my local community or gain any more traction beyond what I was already doing.
I wanted to start actually being an artist in spaces other than my little art studio and my own online platform. I was craving support, community and growth.
The residency at Sourced gave me exactly that.
During my time here, not only did I get to have my first solo show during Art Walk (which was crazy fun and SO well put together thanks to the imaginative Sourced team), but I was supported in the specific ways I was looking grow.
I was given guidance as to how to start reaching out to related businesses in the community, which helped me get way more comfortable building connections. And I nailed a studio visit as a result!
I was able to do a mural on site with total trust and creative freedom (thanks Michelle!). This was a dream come true and added incredible value to my portfolio. The project also opened up a ton of inspiration and big ideas for me-- it may have been my favorite part!
And I made some amazing friends through it all.
If you’re an artist, you probably already know that the opportunity for a solo show is a big deal.
But what’s an even bigger deal is finding a group of people to support you, cheer you on, encourage your creative ideas, help you brainstorm and introduce you to a friend of a friend who needs a custom piece or who has a space to show some work.
Relationships are your most valuable asset as a developing artist.
But they can also feel the most daunting to build when you have no idea where to start or who to talk to.
This is where programs like the residency at SOURCED. are providing something SO important for emerging artists: a place to root into and grow outward from.
I can honestly say that I feel so much more confident in my place as a local artist after my time here.
If you’re a local artist who’s feeling stagnant like I was, I hope you’ll apply to this program. It will push you to get your body of work together, give you an opportunity to meet some lovely new people and propel you forward in your next steps.
As a past resident who’s stayed on board with the community (because I couldn’t imagine leaving it!), I’ll be SO excited to meet you, grab a coffee and chat about all things art.
Written by Devon Walz. In addition to being a content creator for Sourced, Devon is mixed media fine artist and art educator. When she isn’t dreaming up new topics for the Sourced blog or chatting away with her co-workers, you can probably find her covered in paint and jamming out in her Santa Ana art studio. Find her on Instagram @devonwalzart and online at www.devonwalz.com.