5 Practical Ways to Thrive as a Creative in a Small Town
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Leverage local resources
  2. Create community connections
  3. Adapt and diversify your skills
  4. Optimize online presence
  5. Explore creative collaborations

Do you call a small town your home? And does your heart beat for creativity? The common belief is that a bustling city is the only place where a creative professional can truly flourish. However, thriving as a creative in a small town is not only possible but also can be uniquely rewarding. In this blog, we'll explore five practical ways to make the most of your small town charm and let your creativity shine.

Leverage Local Resources

When it comes to thriving as a creative in a small town, the first place to start is by scanning your surroundings. Every small town is a treasure trove of resources waiting to be discovered and leveraged for your creative pursuits. Here's how you can do it:

Scout for Local Inspirations

Be it a rustic countryside, a quaint downtown, or a colorful farmer's market, small towns offer a plethora of local inspirations. Use these elements to fuel your creative work. For instance, a landscape artist might find inspiration in the rolling hills or a writer might spin a tale around the town's history. Remember, inspiration is everywhere — you just need to tune your senses to it.

Utilize Public Facilities

Public facilities like libraries, community centers, or local parks can be invaluable resources for creatives. Libraries, for instance, are not just for bookworms. You can find software tutorials, art guides, or even graphic novel collections. Community centers often offer spaces for exhibitions or performances. If you're a photographer or a painter, the local park might serve as a perfect backdrop for your next masterpiece.

Tap into Local Businesses

Local businesses can be a great ally for you. Approach the local coffee shop to display your paintings, or the bookstore for a book reading session. You might also consider offering your services, like designing their menu or creating a mural. It's a win-win — they get a unique touch to their business, and you get a platform to showcase your talents.

So start exploring, utilizing, and collaborating with the resources around you. Not only will it help you in thriving as a creative in a small town, but it also contributes to your community in a meaningful way.

Create Community Connections

As a creative, building connections within your community is a key step towards success. Don't let the small size of your town fool you; there are plenty of opportunities to connect, network, and collaborate with others. Let's look into how you can weave these connections into the fabric of your small town life.

Join or Start a Local Group

Look for local clubs or groups that share your creative interests. A book club, a photography group, a local drama society — these can all be great places to connect with like-minded individuals. Don't find one? Consider starting a group yourself. It can be as simple as gathering a few friends for a weekly art session or a book discussion.

Participate in Local Events

Small towns often host events like fairs, parades, farmers markets, or holiday celebrations. Participating in these events can be a great way to build your local network and showcase your creative work. It's also a chance to collaborate with other local businesses or artists. Plus, it's a lot of fun!

Volunteer for Community Projects

Volunteering is another excellent way to meet people and contribute to your community. Whether it's painting a mural for the local school, helping set up a community garden, or contributing to a charity event, your creative skills can make a big difference. And who knows? It might lead to some unexpected opportunities!

Remember, every connection you make is a step towards thriving as a creative in a small town. So don't be shy; get out there and start connecting!

Adapt and Diversify Your Skills

Thriving as a creative in a small town often requires a bit of adaptability and a willingness to wear many hats. By diversifying your skills, you open up more opportunities for yourself and increase your value in your community. Let's explore some strategies to expand your creative skill set.

Learn from Others

One of the best ways to learn and grow is by observing and learning from others. Whether it's a local craftsman, a talented musician, or a skilled painter, there's always something new to learn. So, why not ask if you can shadow them for a day, or perhaps even take a few lessons?

Take Advantage of Online Learning

The internet offers countless resources for learning new skills. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and YouTube host tutorials on everything from graphic design to pottery. You can learn at your own pace, and often for free or at a low cost. So, why not try picking up a new skill or two?

Practice and Experiment

Remember, no one becomes an expert overnight. It takes time and practice to develop a new skill. Don't be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them. After all, that's what creativity is all about!

By expanding your creative toolbox, you'll be better equipped to adapt to the needs of your small town and continue to thrive as a creative.

Optimize Online Presence

As a creative in a small town, asserting your online presence is a key strategy for reaching a broader audience. A robust online platform allows you to showcase your work, connect with like-minded individuals, and even sell your products or services. So, how can you optimize your online presence?

Build a Professional Website

Having your own website is like owning a piece of online real estate. It's the place where you get to show off your work, tell your story, and offer your services. Use website builders like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress to create a clean, user-friendly site that reflects your unique style.

Utilize Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can be powerful tools for showcasing your work and connecting with your audience. Regularly post engaging content, interact with your followers, and use relevant hashtags to increase your visibility. Remember, consistency is key!

Engage with Online Communities

Join online communities such as forums, Facebook groups, or Reddit threads that align with your creative interests. These can be great places to share ideas, get feedback, and build connections with other creatives. Just remember to be genuine and contribute to the community rather than just promoting your work.

By optimizing your online presence, you're not only expanding your reach but also building a strong foundation for thriving as a creative in a small town.

Explore Creative Collaborations

While it may sound counterintuitive, thriving as a creative in a small town often involves reaching beyond your town's limits. Exploring creative collaborations can open up exciting opportunities, expose you to fresh ideas, and even grow your audience. Here's how you can start.

Seek Out Local Collaborators

Even in a small town, there are likely other creatives who share your passion. Reach out to these local artists, writers, or entrepreneurs and propose a collaborative project. This could be anything from a joint art exhibition to a co-written blog series. Not only will this help you grow your local network, but it will also provide a unique offering to your audience.

Connect with Non-Local Creatives

Thanks to the internet, your collaborative efforts don't have to be limited by geography. Connect with creatives in other cities, states, or even countries. This can introduce you to different creative styles and perspectives, and also help increase your exposure.

Participate in Collaborative Events

Keep an eye out for collaborative events like art festivals, writing workshops, or online webinars. These events can be a great way to meet other creatives, learn new skills, and showcase your work to a larger audience.

By exploring creative collaborations, you'll find new ways to infuse your work with fresh ideas, gain exposure, and continue thriving as a creative in a small town.

If you're looking to thrive as a creative in a small town and need more guidance, check out the workshop 'Getting Started As A Creative' by Corbin Shaw. This workshop will provide you with practical tips and strategies to make the most of your creative skills in small-town settings and beyond.