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How to Find Other Creatives When You Get to College

Every creative can benefit from connecting with other artists in college.

by Karl Ortegon
September 3, 2021

It’s back-to-school season, and for some, that means it’s time for the momentous beginning of freshman year of college. Wherever you are in the college journey, though, it can be daunting to figure out your social life. Further, if you’re a creative, in addition to simply making friends, you’re probably also wanting to link with creatives who you can connect with on a deeper level. 

As you get acclimated to your new classmates, new courses and a new environment, it’s essential to befriend other creatives who are in the same boat as you. They’ll know, as you do, the extra time you put into your craft, the dedication it takes, and the guts needed to put your art out on display for the world to see. They understand the highs of making your own art and the lows that come with it. 

This is all to say that making friends with other creatives is exciting and fun, and you’ll find that it’s a rewarding process that can set you up with symbiotic relationships that lend support for life. It’s also easier than you think –– we’ll show you how. 

Why Finding Other Creative Pals is Important

Before we get into the nuts and bolts, you might be wondering why it’s important to connect with other artists in college. Here are three of the biggest ways you can benefit from these relationships (and why others can benefit from knowing and working with you!):

  • Inspiration –– Creatives get better by learning from peers. All art takes inspiration from something and/or someone else, so the more people you meet, the more insight you gain into their vision, process and execution. This can, in-turn, help your art!  
  • Exchanging services –– Sometimes, the best art is born when you combine two brains and see what happens. Let’s say you write songs, and you’re looking for a producer to work with. Or, maybe you need a graphic designer or painter to bring your cover art to life for your next album. Wouldn’t it be cool to work with your friends who have those skills?
  • Emotional support –– School is hard, and doing school in addition to blazing a career path in a creative industry is even harder. Nobody knows the struggle like other creatives!

5 college students laughing and talking on the street.
Find other creatives that inspire you!
Honing In: Who Do You Want In Your Circles?

It’s very beneficial to know what you’re looking to accomplish with your art before you get to campus. Even as that (inevitably) changes over time, it can help steer you to the right people. For example, if you’re looking to do graphic design, you’ll want to find other designers and then any people in other industries, like music or film, who you’ll want to collaborate with on multimedia projects. 

Meanwhile, try to keep it authentic –– make friends with people whose visions and interests are related to yours, not because that person’s parent works at a company you want an internship at! Genuine connections should always be a priority. If it’s not genuine, both parties are going to feel it in their bones.

Finding People IRL

One of the best ways to befriend other creatives? Go where they go!

Whether it’s a gig on campus or in town, an open mic, an art gallery or even a creative club run by students, showing up at these events is a surefire way for you to connect with kindred spirits. 

You never know what groups are meeting up on your campus –– Berklee College, for example, has an entire club dedicated to A&R.

Meanwhile, if your campus is bringing artists to campus for shows, talks, readings, etc., go to those! You can easily find other people who share your passion for that renowned artist. Boom –– you have a specific topic to break the ice with!

Making Friends Online 

The internet continues to connect us to people around the world, and with pandemic restrictions still in effect or even ramping up in many places, you can definitely meet other creatives online.

While most of us don’t really use Facebook these days, the social network is a hotspot for groups, especially when groups rally around a common cause. You can typically find groups on Facebook centered around connecting artists for collaboration, friendship, advice and more. This group, for example, encourages designers to share their work, seek inspiration and troubleshoot with the popular tool Canva. 

And, we’d be remiss not to toot our own horn –– the Quadio app, which is coming soon, is going to be an essential tool for linking you to other creatives –– at your campus and elsewhere. 

College students using laptops.
Utilize social networks to find other creatives.
Growing Your Social Network While Staying True to Yourself

Making friends can be scary, weird, or awkward –– but you can do it. People of all ages do it all the time, and it’s a great skill to practice! 

It’s important, too, to stay true to yourself. What kinds of people do you want to surround yourself with? Remember your own values, goals and passions, and make sure you’re not forgoing those for friendships or collaborations that are transactional, shallow or otherwise unrelated to you as you build your best self and future. 

When you start to make those creative friends this school year, we want to hear about it! Be sure to tag us in your studio sessions, shows, or hangs on Instagram and Twitter for a chance to be featured on our pages!