I wanted to put this out there because I have been thinking about it alot lately. This whole art thing is alot of work and sometimes, people struggle along the path. While not everyone is looking to make a big time career out of their art, lots of us just want to work at something we love and feel passionate about. Sometimes opportunity finds us and sometimes we have to go looking.
Part of what's hard about it all is that in many ways, it's something you have to do on your own. There's a sort of trial by fire thing that happens, whereby you have to work really hard and hope you also have a bit of luck to be successful and while I have absolutely nothing agaist "earning my stripes", I think sometimes it can be both frustrating and lonely. So much of what we do as artist involves sitting in our studios, alone, working. It's rare that we get the opportunity to talk to other artists about their experiences and perhaps glean some information about how they go about doing what they do. For me, in most areas of my life, I have benefitted immensely from listening and observing other people, asking questions and doing my own research. It's the my own style of learning by doing, coupled with feedback from others that takes me from an idea or desire into realizing the goal.
That said, I would like to encourage all you artists out there who are reading this, to think seriously about taking someone under your wing if you see an opportunity to do so and help them through what you know. It doesn't have to be a formal thing, but if someone is for example looking to get connected to a group you are in because they admire it and have something to offer, then point them in the right direction to get connected. If someone wants to apply for an event and you have done so in the past yourself, help them figure out what they can do to make their application the best it can be. Put yourself out there!
When you help someone else, you not only bless them with your gifts, but you also get to have a good feeling in your heart. There is a quote that like that says: "The more you give away, the more you get to keep for yourself." There is nothing more beautiful than a generousity of spirit.