A cursory search for the term collaborate (or derivatives thereof) brings up a wide range of uses – everything from platforms for collaborating via technology to an announcement that one artist is doing a collaborative project with another. While I appreciate the arts, actually creating art isn’t something I’ve done since high school. Yet, I’ve been aware that the arts lend a new way of seeing or approaching ideas. So what can we learn from artists about collaboration?
In an upcoming issue of Collaborator Magazine, visual artist Nicola Dale shares a few learnings that she’s gleaned from her joint work with other artists:
“Bring no questions to a meeting with strangers” – Jimmie Durham
If you are serious about working with others and creating something new, you have to be open to and present during the process. If your mind is elsewhere, trying to answer pre-determined questions, you’ll find the experience less enjoyable and less fruitful.
“You have to stop being what you were when you start paying attention to the work it takes to maintain your clear distinctions” – Brian Smith
As I mentioned in a previous post – collaboration isn’t the realm for the Lone Ranger. It’s about us, and through which we exclaim: “Wheeeee!”
“The works are determined by their environment” – Tenneson and Dale
If we only look within, then we’ll be limited in what we can produce by who we are and what we have inside us. When we embrace ideas outside ourselves we gain fresh perspective and infinite possibilities emerge.