Asking for helpBlessed are those who find their art tribe.

Artists are a solitary bunch. Usually, we spend our days in our own company, doing our own work. As Artists, studio dogs and Pandora are our co-workers (click to Tweet if your studio dogs are your best art critics).

I’ve written before about finding that common watering hole. If you don’t have a “herd to hang with”  you really should get out more and discover whom it is that makes you feel needed, valued and accepted. I feel blessed to have found my wild kin.

The topic is fresh because this week I needed help. Our landlord decreed tenants upgrade studio lighting to LED bulbs, a perfectly noble request. BUT – have you ever had to work with lighting? All the variables, the colour spectrums, the fixtures – watt the Kelvin?! Truly, it’s enough to make a fairly grounded artist blow a fuse because, when you’re paying $20 for a bulb, you can’t risk it turning your artwork BLUE!

I believe I’m a capable person, but apparently, I’m not always reasonable, because I rebuffed my husband’s offer of assistance. 30-minutes, alone in the Home Depot lighting isle convinced me I was no match for the almighty bulb, so I used a lifeline and called a friend. Not only was she gracious enough to share all she’d learned about lighting, she even climbed the ladder and helped me identify the studio fixtures I’d use in 2015. THANK YOU!

This got me thinking about asking for help. Most of us are reluctant to do it. We may not want to impose, we many not feel safe enough to ask, or we may not want to publicly admit we don’t know something – think back to math class. Interestingly, I’ve discovered when we have the courage to ask, people step up and are not only willing, but also happy to help.

This week I’ve had both the courage and the privilege.

I’ve had the courage to ask for help.

I’ve had the privilege of lending a hand.

In 3 days, I’ve helped install 2 art exhibits, delivered a friend’s art, distributed a colleague’s marketing collateral and tended to signage.

It feels good to help others. Asking for help

When we refuse to ask for help, we deprive others of the gift of helping us. (Click to Tweet)

I’m not advocating we become whiney, needy creatures who can’t stand on your own. If you’re a regular reader you know, I believe in you! I believe, if you put your heart and some sweat equity into it, there’s NOTHING you can’t do! Still, sometimes, we’re a bit out of our filament element, and a little help goes a long way. We run out of information, we run out of time, we run out of hands – we should ask for help.

People in your tribe make great helpers. (Click to Tweet if you love your tribe!) They champion your successes, they travel in the same circles and, generally, they’ll tell you when they’ve had enough and you’re leaning in – like a St. Bernard… too hard.

Also, as a helper you have to know where to draw the line. Set your boundaries. [Tweet “Helping does not mean serving until you disable a person.”]  Nor does it mean you help until you’re resentful. Use your good sense.

So, as we move into a new year, full of anticipation, goals and motivation, remember to find your tribe. You have one here, with the readership of this blog, and often we have rich conversations as we leave comments below. Also, as you tread into unfamiliar territory, remember to ask for help. There’s no dishonor in it…at all. It will help you reach your goals more easily, build momentum and allow others to be of service. And, if you are so inclined, you may help me by sharing news of this blog so I can grow readership this year, that’s one of my goals.

In the meantime, give yourself a hand, too…



Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

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