Meetups are hard for an introvert, but worth it

I’ve been thinking lately about meetups and how I go through seasons where I get myself out to a lot of them, and seasons where I stay quiet and focused in my office. One of the big reasons I haven’t been going to many this year is the simple fact of being busy. I have a zillion projects that I love working on, between making items for Oxford Dogma, my grainmill baking book, developing my art skills, learning new things, and generally keeping myself healthy.  But it’s also because I’m an introvert, and it’s easier for me to choose home over going out. 
Over the summer, I started connecting with people in online baking and art communities. I can’t believe it took me so many years to do this! The experience has been enjoyable and rewarding. I also created a Reddit account and am loving the way you can choose your interests by subreddit and connect with others who have the same interests. So perfect for a Scanner like me.
There are a few in-person meetups I like to go to. One is the Arizona Artisans Collective which is a business-focused community for Arizona makers and artists. I’ve been a member from the start and it’s nice to have a group of people who understand what it’s like to have a handmade/art business.
Another one I like is CraftHackEV (the EV stands for East Valley in the Phoenix, AZ area). It happens at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at Gangplank in Chandler. It’s just pure crafting and making fun. I enjoy chatting with my fellow crafters and often there’s someone leading a demo on something crafty. If you live in the area check it out!
I drew this little cable knit hat (ironically, knitting is a common activity at CraftHack, but I chose to draw it instead — capturing cable knit patterns on paper has me fascinated). I just got a few more Stabilo water soluble pencils that I’m having fun with, and have been working on layering more and pushing my artwork past the first pass of “it’s OK, but a little lackluster” into something more interesting to look at. While relaxing with the small group and working on my layers, I learned of some artists to check out that I hadn’t heard of before and got to hear about what cool things everyone else is working on. It left me looking forward to the next one!
water soluble pencil drawing made during September 2017 Craft Hack EV meetup at Gangplank in Chandler AZ

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