These are 10 ways that I have come up to collaborate with an artist. Collaborate? What? Aren’t all artist the center of their own world and self-sufficient and self-absorbed, etc.?
One of the biggest misconceptions about artists is that they are a closed group of people who won’t listen, won’t take input, won’t share and basically are deaf to others ideas. I say that’s a bunch of bunk!
Today is the age of collaboration. Do you see it? Music artists collaborate to create new experiences. Painters and sculptors created great artistic pieces together. Writers collaborate together to write a novel or a story.
Here’s how you can share or collaborate with an artist.
1. Share stories
To begin with, you must have a relationship with the artist. I know that may seem impossible, but in today’s age of social media and email it is easier than ever to contact and correspond with an artist. This is where I would begin.
I know from personal experience that beginning a relationship with an artist is awkward because we assume that they are surrounded by “popular” people. However, I’ve found the best and fastest way to connect is to just be yourself.
If you are a self-seeking, self-serving, ladder climbing kind of person they’ll be able to discern that really fast. Just be yourself and offer your insights into their art. You’ll find that they respond to this much fast than a request to be used or referenced for your own fame and glory.
Once you have a relationship, then share life and stories. You’ll find a mutual benefit from sharing the stories of your life. You’ll never know if your experience might in some way cause the artist to think differently about a topic or subject. Perhaps they’ll see a similar situation in their own life from your view.
The heart of collaboration is many views on one subject.
Try this and see how it works.
2. Share pictures and media
It’s really easy these days to share across multiple mediums the pictures and the art that we in our own lives appreciate.
I know that by watching what Stephen Brewster finds interesting on his MONDAY blog post (used to be Friday Night Likes) that I’ll be able to see things that I think will be interesting to him. In a sense, he loans me his eyes so that I can keep a look out for things that would interest him.
It works the other way around too. When I share with the artist my eyes, they in a sense get a peek into my world and what I see. In that way we are collaborating together on our worldview.
3. Share experiences
Shared experiences together with an artist (a concerts, an exhibit, a creative session) leads to a great deal of ideation and sharing with the artist.
One of the best ways to connect with an artist is to share your own experience (in words or a creative way) what you experienced at that same moment that artist did too. All kinds of creativity begins to flow from this idea exchange.
4. Share ideas
There are no such things as truly original ideas. All ideas borrow, morph and restate what has already been stated before. So when you share an idea it is your own interpretation of data and experiences that someone else will see in another way.
Why not share a mind map or a sketch or a painting that isn’t quite finished with an artist? Maybe they could help you on a bridge of a song, or a line of poetry. It’s all in the name of making great art.
Some of the greatest artist in the world painted on each other’s canvasses and gave us the period of art called Impressionism–because they made an impression on the art with their own view.
Share the ideas you have and let go of them. You may find that you are a resource for the artist that they have never known before.
5. Share resources
No one has the corner on all of the resources available to creative people today. We all have our own pools that we draw from and when artists get together one of the most exciting things is the sharing of resources.
Do you have favorite graphic sites? Is there a piece of software that you use or have found that has helped in your creativity? Why not share those with other artists and you’ll find that what you share comes back double in other resources that will help you grow too in your artistry.
Keep a list of your favorite resources at all times and be ready to share it. You’ll soon find that you are doubling your own resource pool in record time.
6. Share common space
One of the best ways to foster collaboration is for artists to share space together. Hard to do–but one friend of mine has a vision to create space where artists can come together and share ideas. This wouldn’t happen if they didn’t share common space.
It happened in the Renaissance. Musicians influenced painters. Writers influenced sculptors. Actors influenced musicians. It was a cross pollination of ideas because of their close proximity to each other.
This wouldn’t happen with out shared common space.
7. Share failures
Every artist fails. Failure is the process of learning and re-tooling. We often like to hide our failures but perhaps the greatest learning comes from failure.
Why not share with other artists your failures. Share how you did it and what you learned from it.
I can guarantee that your failure will spark a success in some other artists. And you’ll benefit from their failures too.
The collective knowledge of all involved will be increased and creativity will soar.
8. Share connections
All artists know other artists. There is a deep connection in the artistic community which fosters this deep love of creativity and art. We all benefit when we connect artists to other artists we know.
Why not create a list of people that you know that have specialty in some area? You may be called upon to offer a resource for a job or event that no one else has discovered.
The greater artistic community is deepened and enlarged when we share our connections (However, be discreet. Your resources that you know personally and trust may not want you to scribble it on the wall at the local truck stop (not literally). Share it with those who will appreciate your resources quality)
9. Share recognition
If by some chance a collaborative piece that you’ve worked on with another artist gets some recognition, share that recognition freely. Share about the value of the collaborative process. Share the accolades and the applause together.
There’s no deeper reward that creating something together with another artist and it being rewarded.
This almost seems redundant to say but collaboration is sharing. Unless there is sharing there is no collision of ideas and thoughts and the creation of new things.
If you’re not willing to share, then you’re not ready to collaborate. It is the essence of the process which drives and gives birth to this things we call art.
In the coming days, I’ll post some more about the collaborative process. I’d love for you to share your ideas of how this works in your life and in your artistic community. We can all grow if we learn to share.