net•work (net-wurk) an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like
I probably began networking about a year out of college. Back then it was pretty much via letter or phone call or even over lunch, that would be "old school" networking. Now, it's mainly done online through forums and online networks (linkedin immediately comes to mind), blogging, as well as via phone and over coffee - at a store with Wifi. Times have certainly changed, and for me, so has networking. Where it was once all about getting a job, networking has become a "social hour" for me. I find that the creative people I meet through these various online sites, have become a wealth of support, information, talent, hope, generosity and inspiration. Online friends across the country... actually the globe, who offer a kind word, who take a moment out of a busy day to drop in and say hello and who recharge my creative soul. Sure, networking is still a great way to visualize what I do, which could lead to being noticed by a new publisher or art director, but it is so much more! So my question to you is, why do you Network?
And to back up my theory of the talent and generous spirit of my creative online friends, check out this wonderful giveaway being hosted by Joseph Allen at Hand Stamped Jewelry. He is giving to a lucky winner a hand stamped necklace of their choosing (and he has LOTS of beautiful options) plus a $50 gift card to Target or Walmart. Seriously, it's an amazing giveaway, so check it out!