The Power of the Group.

DSCF4159 When blogging first started, none of us were sure how to treat each other. Should we be jealous of other bloggers success? Should we link to each other? Does one person’s achievements take away from another’s? Is there a limited amount of blogs people will read? Does one blog steal eye balls and content from another? Etc.

We can be jealous of our peers in all fields, especially in creative ones. As faux Hemingway said in Midnight in Paris – “If I like your work, I’ll be jealous and hate you, if I hate it, I’ll hate you.” or something like that?

But what I came to realize is this, and it’s become one of the tenants of my life. It’s like my fucking manifesto.


Everywhere I look, I see collections of people, little groups who together make themselves into something greater than the sum of their parts. Actually, that’s not true, individually, they are all super strong- and have nothing actually collectively invested – but yet they have these little ties to each other. Slim little bands of spider web silk that holds them to each other. They wind their ways into each others careers and by virtue of their togetherness, go farther than they could have alone.

Groups of creatives can create entire aesthetics, entire genres.  Even though no one is actually striving toward a group goal, that collective understanding helps each individual shine, and helps the stand outs rise to the tops of their fields. I mean, we could look back at The Beat Generation, we could look at Gertrude Stein’s salon. We could look at The Factory and Max’s Kansas City, we could look at the rising trifecta of power that is Leandra Medine (Manrepeller) Rosie Assoulin (Designer) and Claire Distenfeld (Owner of FiveStory). We could look at rivalry friendships like Picasso and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, or we could take it as low brow as these teenage photographers on instagram that all have tens of thousands of followers. This isn’t an accident!

People need people. Creativity begets creativity. Success begets success. And surrounding yourself with like minded people – which is now EASIER than ever – opens your mind to new opportunities and helps you push through the years when everything you make is shit.

With blogging, early on it became clear that there were blog cliques, and that these groups helped each other A LOT. I think it was dismissed as trivial and cliquey in the beginning , but in reality, the blogs that embraced other bloggers as friends and comrades (and of course, grew as creatives), rose. The ones that saw others as competition, and were small-minded about it stagnated.


I think about this all the time. My friendships, my collaborations, how this whole thing came about, and how I’m connecting myself now with people who I believe in, SO MUCH. Our generation is coming into its own, and things are happening now for everyone that I sort of “came of age” with. I have multiple friends with books, friends with TV shows, friends with amazing design careers getting published all over the place. It’s an awesome feeling to be a witness to friend’s success!  In the immortal words of DRAKE “Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” LOLZ. But really… When we celebrate each others achievements, it’s NOT FAKE. (Like how Christine and I happened to write about each others work in the same week. And many thanks to Erin for posting my work as well!) It’s a real expression of our respect for each other. And I think that’s what it’s about. Believe in the people we surround ourselves with, and work hard. And if we all work hard and keep working hard, maybe we’ll achieve some level of success in this world.

And how I define success – doing things I’m proud of, with recognition from the people I believe in.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Craig says:

    I’m touched by Nicoles writing I enjoy her nearly more than anything else in the world it’s like educating Craig I look forward to each perfect surprise Nicole shows me Nicole I appreciate you very much my own understandings are supporting New thought like pearls forming
    knowing about how Nicole feels about her experience with blogging rings true with me keep up the hard work if it makes you happy
    You make me happy too
    From Craig byebye

  2. Thank you for this post! It couldn’t have come at a better time. Literally gave me the chills. I have been trying to create a blogging collective, and it has been a bit challenging. I will continue on my quest after reading this, because I feel deeply that it was meant to happen. So thanks again for recharging my blogger batteries.

  3. Every single word of this post makes me so infinitely glad I took the leap and started blogging. It’s because of the relationships I’ve formed with people like you, that I so love doing what I do. Being able to surround yourself with others who love lifting each other up creatively…well, that’s just the most ridiculously awesome thing. Thank you for being one of those amazingly supportive/talented/inspirting/uplifting people.


  4. I love everything about this post. It’s so true and I preach about this ALL the time. It makes thing so much more enjoyable when people help people and are supportive of one another! Great, great post!

  5. Nicole! I’m finally able to see your blog! Remember, I’m the one who said how all my devices would not let me on your site? It was THE weirdest thing, and now, voila, I’m here. I don’t know how it happened, but it’s really cool that I happened here with this post. I began blogging when it was still somewhat new, and like you, there are bloggers I consider friends, and who I have always championed. I’ve more or less stepped away from blogging, but I still feel a sense of camaraderie with the ladies I “grew up with” in blogging. I probably don’t say enough what amount of creative inspiration they provide – I hope my continued readership, comments, etc let them know that all the work it takes to blog is so appreciated. So, in essence, high five for the uplifting post!

  6. Fantastic + v. poignant post Nicole! Funnily enough I read this about 10 mins after discussing with a friend the whole theory that you are always the common denominator of the people in your closest circle. Being so, we can only wish each other the greatest success! A big well done to you and Christine and your recent achievements. Was so impressed with your striking and very clever photography + Christine’s home is just the loveliest.

  7. Yeay!! Loved this! And adored the post over at Christine’s!! and Erin’s too. You guys were the pioneers indeed and paved the wave for the rest of us. So excited to follow along all the new adventures. Oh and this uplo thing….I’m totally dying to put some of my photos. I just don’t have time, but I’m mentally obsessed. oh and I’m framing your horse this weekend!

  8. margo says:

    love that – people need people. sums up not only the world of blogging but the world in itself!

  9. Love.

  10. Well put! Love following your creative work through the years…and look forward to see what’s next for you.

  11. fortune dushey says:

    Nicole, this was written so beautifully.
    I couldn’t agree more!


  1. […] The insanely talented Nicole from Sketch42 posted about The Power of the Group and it really resonated with me. I’m so thankful for all […]