Online Artist Communities, Programs, and Memberships

Updated: Jun 17

Find Your People and Further Your Practice and Business!

Artists are online in a BIG way. From sharing our work on social media to finding learning resources, selling our art and even purchasing supplies, the internet can open up a great big world of resources for us. For many of us, internet communities mean that creating in the studio doesn't always have to be a solitary endeavour! I've tried a few different online artist communities over the past few years and have always found them helpful. Here I have compiled a list of the online artist communities, programs and memberships that are out there so you can take a look at them all in one place and even try out one or two. Did I miss an artist community that you know and love? Leave a comment, and I'll add it to the blog so that other artists can discover it too.

A few notes to be aware of: Some of these prices are in US dollars, Canadian dollars or Pounds. Please be sure to check before you subscribe, so you're not over your budget. Note also that many of these memberships offer a lot of free content to advertise for their paid programs - I highly recommend you take advantage! Usually, you need to sign up for their newsletter to get access to the free stuff. I feel that this is worth it, and besides, you can always unsubscribe at any time.


Thrive Together Network

https://thrivetogethernetwork.com/network

Formerly Thrive Artist Network and now in collaboration with Artist/Mother Podcast, the

Thrive Together Network is a membership community of female, non-binary and gender-fluid visual artists from all over the world. TTN is a space where all members can accomplish art practice and business goals while following their own unique paths and supporting each other.

The Thrive Together Network monthly membership includes:

  • Live Zoom weekly sessions called Art & Tea.

  • A network of 400 like-minded working artist professionals.

  • Two Virtual Residencies a year.

  • Enrollment in the Taking. Up. Space. exhibition initiative (a grassroots female-focused community global art exhibition).

  • A library of resources to help you navigate your art career.

  • Access to take TTN’s Critique Programs.

COST: The membership price is $15 a month. Check out the free trial!

My hot take: I was a member of the Thrive community for a few years, and I really enjoyed my time there. Tons of excellent resources are available, and the people are kind, welcoming and supportive. I accessed the free resources often, loved that the weekly scheduled meeting didn't feel like a big-time commitment and enjoyed how the community helped me maintain momentum in my practice and business. Big shout out to Thrive founder Jamie Smith, a fantastic facilitator and generally lovely artist and human.


Mastrius

https://www.mastrius.com

Formerly Levelling Up, Mastrius is an artist mentorship community. Choose from a great selection of "Master Artists" for a supportive, non-competitive, goals-focused mentorship group of aspiring, emerging or accomplished artists. Mentorship meetings occur on a monthly basis and are supplemented by a mid-month meeting with your group navigator and fellow members. You'll also have access to a confidential and private discussion board for you and your group and the ability to revisit past session recordings. Mastrius also hosts weekly zoom events like panel discussions and speed critiques.

Mastrius Mentorship Groups include:

  • Monthly membership meetings led by your group navigator and taught by the Master of your choice.

  • Homework assignments in line with your group's goals.

  • Mid-month meetings to catch up with your group led by the navigator.

  • Weekly zoom events and occasional in-person events.

  • Switch to a new Master whenever you feel ready. You can even arrange to move with your group to a new Master if you decide you'd all like to stay together.

COST: Monthly mentorship groups cost $99 monthly for Aspiring and Emerging groups and $149 monthly for Accomplished groups. An Events Membership is also available for $19/month, giving the subscriber access to weekly events and event recordings, private chat groups, and Mastrius Sprints, which are short, focused mentorships.


My two cents: I enjoyed a 6-month mentorship in 2021/22 with one of my fave Canadian landscape artists, the lovely Julie Himel. My group was kind and supportive, and Julie brought me some wonderful new insights into my creative practice. Mastrius is pricy but it really does allow each artist to customize their experience to their personal goals. I hope to join another Mastrius group one day.


The Studio Source

https://www.thestudiosource.com

The Studio Source is an art business-centric membership that teaches artists how to reach their ideal collectors online so that they can make steady sales without the guesswork. Dispelling the stereotype of “starving artists,” The Studio Source helps you take control back from the limited gallery and consignment model, tapping into the infinite network of art collectors online and putting more profit back into the pockets of creators. Founding members Allie Dattilio (oil painter) and Lindsay Emery (ceramicist) are artists themselves and share how they have found success in their art businesses.

The Studio Source membership includes:

  • "The Masterclass," which outlines four steps to selling art online and something called "The Artist's Sales Framework™, a four-step sales cycle to attract your 'real buyers' and get your work sold consistently and quickly online.

  • Resource toolkits and step-by-step guides for successfully selling art online.

  • A Facebook community of over one thousand other artists growing their online businesses.

COST: 12 monthly payments of $99 or a one-time annual payment of $997

What I've heard: I haven't participated in The Studio Source program but I have taken advantage of a lot of their free content, which is well organized and presented. Fellow artist Fiona Dalrymple was a studio source student and found great success with their methods.


The Collective

https://emilyjeffordslearn.com/collective

Founded by artist Emily Jeffords, The Collective offers artists the space to further their

education, take on career challenges, and find a sustainable, profitable sweet spot in their art businesses, all within a community of like-minded artists and with an emphasis on a positive mindset.

"It's the space where artists like you empathize, share stories, and show support in and industry where coworkers aren't really a thing. Inside the collective, you'll find detailed insight, energetic community, and consistent guideance toward progress."

There is an additional program of study offered by Emily called Making Art Work, which goes into great depth on the methods, tools, and strategies designed to further your creative career. The Collective and Making Art Work can be done together or independent from one another.

Here's what's included in The Collective membership scheduled monthly content:

  • Social media effectiveness and best practices.

  • How to build and sell a collection.

  • Creating a sales-driven website.

  • Email marketing and lead generation.

  • A look at Emily's marketing plan.

  • Access to a library of content, an online community called The Collective Circle...and much more.

COST:

My two cents: I've only taken advantage of some of Emily's free content, and from that limited experience, I can tell you that everything is beautifully presented in a gentle and positive light.


Happy Artist Studio

https://happyartiststudio.podia.com

The Happy Artist Studio, created by artist Tara Leaver, offers to support you to make the art only you can make while building the experience and confidence to share it with the world. It is a collection of practical, fun, process-oriented online classes that guide you to confidence, clarity and freedom of expression in your art.

Here's what's included in the Happy Artist Studio:

  • 14+ courses and other art resources.

  • A growing library of Q&A videos.

  • Support and personalized feedback.

  • Monthly themes to help you focus and grow your practice.

  • A private, friendly community space.

COST: £35 per month or £350 per year

My hot take: I did a month of the Happy Artist Studio once upon a time and I thought that Tara's content was great. This would be an especially helpful membership for a beginning artist, especially one who is working to find their individual 'artist voice'.


Insider Studio

https://www.amandaevanstonlearning.com/insiders-studio

The Insider Studio led by the charismatic and energetic Amanda Evanston, is what Amanda calls "the happiest corner of the internet." It is a monthly membership that provides weekly painting lessons, a community of supportive artists, and so much more for beginning and seasoned artists alike. Amanda aims to make it a safe space for you to learn and grow as an artist while supporting others on their art journeys. Amanda has an expressive, vibrant, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, stress-free style of painting that is energizing, fresh and fun. Check out her freebies to get an idea of what you'll find here.

Here's what's included:

  • New art class every Tuesday

  • Instant access to the member’s library (165+ classes and growing!)

  • Thriving Facebook community

  • Weekly live Q&A session

  • Weekly newsletter

  • Periodic guest artists

  • BONUS Seasonal rotating member community programs! In the last year we have organized original art swaps, a Random Acts of Kindness mailing list, and more.

COST: $24.95 monthly

My hot take: I'm not a member of Amanda's Insider Studio but I have taken some of her e-courses and I love them! Amanda's teaching style encourages me to look outside the box with my painting techniques and I find her bubbly personality energizing and fun.


Art2Life

https://www.art2life.com

Theres a lotta stuff available under the Art2Life banner including a ton of free content, all led by the charismatic Nicholas Wilton. Free content includes Nicholas' weekly vlog newsletter and YouTube channel as well as his Art2Life podcast. Paid programs are only available certain weeks out of the year, so be sure to sign up for notifications if you think you might be interested in registering.

Here's what you can find at Art2Life:

  • The Creative Visionary Program offers a transformation of your art. This 12-week, highly interactive online program will give you the essential ingredients you need to make art that is stronger and more like you — realistic, abstract or anywhere in between.

  • The Art2Life Academy is a community of experienced artists who are committed to advancing their art, process and careers to high level. Enrollment is offered only once a year and is only available to those who have completed an Art2Life Destination Workshop or the 12 week Creative Visionary Program (CVP).

  • Spark is a 3-week designed to energize your art practice through curiosity, imagination and play.

  • These programs always have a community component on Facebook where everyone shares their progress in a supportive environment.

COST: I had a difficult time finding the pricing for these. I think it likely goes up from year to year and since no program is open to registration at the time of writing this, there aren't any current prices offered on the website

. I did find on another blog that the last CVP was priced at around $2000.

My take: I haven't participated in a Nicholas Wilton program, but I have taken advantage of his abundance of free materials and found them insightful and helpful to my practice. I also have an artist friend, JoAnn Godenir, who did the Creative Visionary Program and it had a major impact on her work (in a very good way!) Nicholas is smart and easy to listen to and learn from. I would definitely consider registering in one of his programs in the future.


Art Tribe

https://www.louisefletcherart.com/art-tribe

Art Tribe, with artist, educator and podcaster Louise Fletcher is an ongoing art education platform and a global supportive community for artists to learn and grow at any stage.

What's included in an Art Tribe membership:

  • 22 masterclasses that promise to take your art to the next level. New ones are added every month.

  • A growing library of 28 interviews with expert creatives including Lewis Noble, Jane Davies, Danny Gregory, and Nicholas Wilton.

  • Q&A webchats where you can ask Louise anything.

  • 40+ videos including art-making demos, exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of Louise's studio, and an unfiltered view of her professional art practice.

  • A 15% discount on any of Louise's online courses.

  • A newsletter packed with inspiration for your creative life.

  • Direct, regular access to Louise in the Facebook group, the group website, and the Q&A chats.

COST: The first 30 days are free (woohoo!) and after that you can pay £180 for the year or £20 monthly.

My two cents: It sounds like a great value to me! I haven't tried any of Louises courses or this membership program, but I have listened to her speak in her podcast with Alice Sheridan and watched her YouTube channel. Louise seems very down-to-earth and honest about her creative practice and business. If you've tried any of Louise's paid offerings leave a comment and let us know how you liked it.


Art Queens

https://artqueens.co/membership

Ekatarina Popover offers a membership where you can expand your business, manifest abundance, and find connections with artists who want to play by their own rules.

Includes:

  • A Facebook community.

  • Live group coaching (zoom) twice a month.

  • Monthly pre-recoded training guides.

  • Resources, accountability and community support.

COST: $39 monthly




Online Learning Subscriptions

Examples include: Skillshare, Creative Bug, Etchr Studio

These subscriptions give you access to hundreds (or even thousands!) of course videos. If you're feeling creative but don't know where to start or maybe you just love to learn new mediums and techniques and enjoy the inspiring boost that learning gives your art practice, then these sites are for you. Often times the first month is free, followed by a low monthly subscription that can be cancelled anytime. I'm a big fan of online learning subscriptions. When I was just returning to art-making after a 15-year break, these websites helped me find a place to start. They're great for the beginner who is trying to develop a creative habit. For example, if you'd like to embark on a daily painting or sketching challenge, a video a day could be just the thing you need to make it happen.

Benefits to online learning subscriptions include:

  • A lot of content at a low price. Search and find exactly what interests you and leave the rest.

  • A low monthly fee that's easy to swallow, especially considering you can cancel at any time.

  • A fun way to spice up your creative practice when you need a little boost.

COST: Usually the first month or two are free followed by a monthly subscription fee of $8 to $16 per month depending on the site.

As I See It: I've tried a few different learning subscriptions and I think they're great (my fave was Creative Bug). Just be sure to cancel your subscription as soon as you feel you're not getting value out of it anymore so that you can take that money and use it in the next evolution of your art practice. A hot tip - when you subscribe make notes in your calendar reminding you to cancel the membership because typically these sites will just keep charging your card every month, even if you've long forgotten about the site and haven't used it in weeks. The downside to these is that there is little or no community component.


Other sites to check out:


Kara Bullock Art School https://karabullockart.com

A-la-carte classes plus a facebook community, resource materials and a weekly art business video sent to your inbox.

Between $70 and $120 per class.


The Non-Toxic Crit Club https://www.thenontoxiccritgroup.com

For eight weeks, groups of 6 members or less build a safe supportive critique community. I'm currently a member and loving it!

$735



Did I miss something? Want to leave your two cents? Let me know!