For small non-profit art organizations sometimes the burden of volunteer activities that are essential to the existence of the group overwhelm and consume time and energy which is counter-productive to being creative. So why as a busy artist would you want to join an organization that requires your involvement and time?
The nature of many artists is solitary but as an artist it is important to associate with other artists. The benefits of being with like minded people include enthusiasm for a craft or skill, challenges to think out side of the norm, sharing of ideas and processes, encouragement, and social acceptance. All artists are uniquely individual and opening yourself to input from other artists can give you a fresh perspective in your own art.
Artists understand each other in a way the general population does not understand. There is a sense of belonging when in a creative group. At the core of artist guilds and associations is both understanding of the struggles of being an artist and acceptance of you as an artist that is sometimes missing in relationships with non-creative people.
Being a member of an art guild also benefits artists professionally. There is a wealth of information that circulates among guild members including exhibition information, educational opportunities and critiques (yes it is important). Being a member of an organization also supports credibility as a professional. The hard part for many artists may be deciding which organization best suits your personality and needs as you evolve.
Active members of art guilds help perpetuate art for future generations. Your giving of your time to an organization ultimately helps you grow as an artist because the best benefit of being a member of an artist guild is sharing your passion for art with others.