Sunsets & Teapots
Collaborative work gives you a liberating sense where you discover fresh ideas to work with.
To learn requires you to constantly explore new ideas and new media.
Having someone else to bounce of ideas off can help the flow of inspiration.
As a creative, I need to be constantly inspired and encouraged to produce fresh work and be persistently challenged to step outside my comfort zone. I found that working with fellow creatives gives me that equal dose of inspiration, encouragement and knee-deep challenge, especially when I'm given the opportunity to explore different fields in my craft. That's why I believe that collaborating with fellow creatives who complement your work aesthetic is an important aspect that we have to take part in every now and then, if not at least once.
I kick started my year collaborating with various brands and artists, aside from taking in personal commissions. My first collaborative work was with Renegade Folk and Anina Rubio, and let me tell you: it changed my viewpoint by a lot. Since then, I opened myself to working on a myriad of small projects that helped me branch out and develop my work.
All of that eventually led to working on my biggest (and by far, dream) project that I ever took part in, and I have Marla and Reese to thank for that. We’ve been quietly working on a pet project that we put into action earlier this year. After a few meetings and almost half a year of exchanging ideas and messages back and forth, we finally had something tangible to produce. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were graced with one of the best news we've ever received, but... I still have to keep things under the hood, so I'll have to leave you folks to your guesses. (Hint: It's all filed under the hashtag, #InCaseYouComeBack.)
Going back, working with these two ladies have been harmonious and smooth sailing. It's incredible how our ideas would complement one another, sometimes without having the need for words. With this project taking up 90% of my time, I'd have to say that, despite the pressure of deadlines and amount of work I need to put out, it's been a delightful journey thus far. Needless to say, it's also been somewhat of a guide to finding my niche in terms of my career in illustration, by helping me establish goals, put things into perspective and change my approach in work.
For a couple of years, my main subject and focus have revolved around animals and partly nature; I'm glad that I'm slowly stepping out of that tightly-knit box I built around myself. It was a wise, albeit nerve-racking decision, to take the opportunity to explore and delve into a myriad of projects; most of which had me involved in experimenting with a variety of subject matters - i.e. still life and portraiture. With the handful of collaborative work that pushed me to step out of my boundaries and comfort zone (which, mind you was extremely difficult for me), I have found that I actually love illustrating diverse subjects and interpreting them in various forms to express a wholly different message.
Collaborating with others gives you a liberating sense where you discover a fresh set of ideas to work with, and not just something you would normally create. It helps you engage and see things from your peer's point of view. Not only does this help both parties explore new ground and learn from one another, but it also stimulates creativity and strengthens communicative/social skills, which is an essential trait.
As Rod Judkins' illustrated in his book, Change Your Mind, "Those who have fresh, new ideas are always learning. Having someone else to bounce of ideas off can help the flow of inspiration." And what better way to have that than by working with fellow creatives? In our day and age, it's fairly easy to be part of a diverse community and connect with people from around the globe. So get out there and start building your connections and take part in collaborating on projects. It doesn't need to be huge. Remember, little things can go a long way.
As Judkins' quotes, "Join forces and be a force."