To the outside world artists are often seen as these abstract creatures.
Some of us are nocturnal; we sleep during the day and work late into the night. Others are early birds, hard at work even before the sun is up.
Many prefer solitude when working.
We are often very independent, and this independence can make it hard to work with us - and with each other.
But what doesn´t kill you, makes you stronger right?
In this post I´m going to talk about 3 different types of Collaboration - how to survive them, and how to come out on the other side as a better artist!
1. THE COMMERCIAL ZOO
Film, theater and music are collaborations by nature. It simply isn´t possible for one person to create everything that is needed for a film.
Everybody plays a part in the zoo. Each artist is a cog in the wheel.
For this type of collaboration to run as smoothly as possible, everybody needs to know their role. It is the ultimate test of putting your ego aside, in order to work towards a common goal.
It can be disheartening when you think you´ve done a really good job and the idea gets scrapped, or a director changes his mind.
You have to practice not being too precious about your work.
This is a a tough one, I know!
Best thing you can do:
be humble and be authentic
Be a team player, and be good a taking instructions.
It almost doesn´t matter how talented you are in this type of collaboration, if you don´t know how to play ball.
2. THE CLOSE ENCOUNTER
This is a more intimate and personal form of collaboration.
It is the art of merging two or more creatives - perhaps a painter and a writer, or a photographer and a stylist.
Through my body art work I collaborate with models, performers, photographers and hairdressers all the time.
Creative advancements can appear as flashes of insight, or happy accidents.
When artists with complementary skills get together, you’ve got enough knowledge, experience and perspective to spark a multitude of creative advancements and create unique and original art - hopefully with a lot of happy accidents along the way!
I love that you choose to work together, not because you have to, but because you are attracted to each other´s different styles, creativity and though processes.
This type of collaborations allows artists to experiment and take chances, as well as learn from, and teach, others.
To get the most out of this type of partnership you need to be open for ideas and input. It might help to assign duties and roles to specify what each artist will do.
Will there be a single leader?
Often someone will initiate the collaboration and that person might take on the role as creative director.
Be very clear about the goals you have for your collaborative project.
There needs to be a mutual respect and understanding between everyone involved.
I think artists do their best work when they believe that other people care about them, and about what they do - which for many artist is one and the same thing.
3. THE OPEN SAFARI
Some art forms are more solitary. Sometimes teamwork isn´t possible due to physical distance.
However, there are still ways to collaborate without being in each other´s faces.
In our social media dominated world there really isn´t an excuse for artists not to collaborate. The world has become so small, and rumours travel quick - both the good and the bad. Be nice, be present, and be consistent.
Use the internet to generate attention around your work, AND around others´ work.
When you promote other artists´ work, the odds are pretty good that they will check out your work in return, and if they like it they might share it.
I´m not saying "something for something". Don´t do it because you want something in return. Only share art that you genuinely like, and that is consistent with your online persona. What I mean by that is that you shouldn´t share anything just for the sake of sharing it - even if it´s for a friend!
Your online followers follow you for a reason - because of you and your style. If you share something that is very out of line with your own work, you risk loosing followers.
Here are 5 great ways to collaborate online:
Next week I will be interviewing Photographer Mandi Lynn, who´s story will inspire you.
Mandi and I have collaborated many times, and things usually get a little bit crazy when the 2 of us are together!
Can´t wait to share her insights with you - make sure to stop by again next Monday.
Have a great week until then, and feel free to share your own collaborative experiences and tips.