There’s a big misconception about artists. The thought is that we’re an antisocial bunch clamoring over the competition just to make the next buck. While that may be true of some people, it isn’t the case for us all. Even introverts like me enjoy working with others who are inspiring and offer a positive experience. Whether they are friends, acquaintances, or even strangers, collaborating on various projects has many benefits.
When I say “collaborating” I mean all parties put forth their skills to achieve an end result. If you want to know the positives of just being around other artists, read this post.
Much like volunteering or an internship, collaborating allows you to work with other types of people in this very social field. If you’re aiming for the more commercial/editorial side, you’ll get to see makeup artists, hair stylists, & models. If your niche is more environmental, you’ll meet realtors, architects, and interior designers. Even landscape photographers can get the chance to meet interesting people who may own that land or fellow travelers.
You shouldn’t go into this only trying to take what you can from people. They will be turned off by that selfishness and may not want to work with you in the future. Instead, find people you mesh well with and suggest doing a project together or helping them with what you can. By investing yourself because you want both parties to succeed, you’ll prove that you are someone who will be nice to collaborate with again.
I’m not only referring to the physical labor involved, but rather the finished pieces that you can add to your portfolio. Having the project displayed on your website with links to fellow collaborators will show potential clients how you are able to work on a team. Sharing the love like this may also help give those you worked with more clients as well.
If you’re lucky enough to find a few others passionate about a cause or bringing awareness to something, you’ll really reap the rewards. Sometimes we’re not able to pursue passion projects at work or in everyday life. They may be difficult to achieve because we need special access, or just don’t have enough time to collect all the information. By having another person or a group of people delegated to different tasks, your ability to complete this will grow tenfold.
Sometimes you only get to work with a person once and move on. But often, you become closer and closer until you’re eventually friends. You’ll be able to see each other grow in your fields, catch up in person if you’re in the same place, and hopefully recommend each other for opportunities that arise. This is my favorite part of collaborating!
I think every creative individual should get out and work on a group project. It may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but once you meet other artists and mesh well, it won’t seem scary because it’ll be something they want to do too!
May the light be with you.