5 Tips for Creative Collaboration

5 Tips for Creative Collaboration

5 Tips for Creative Collaboration

  • On September 20, 2016

Art history is chock-full of duos or groups resulting in creative magic. Andy Warhol & Jean Michel Basquiat, Walt Disney & Salvador Dali, and Marina Abramovic & Ulay are all examples of artistic collaboration. Sometimes artists work together to master a new form, connect emotionally, bring new energy into stale work, or for complementary skills. While the reasons for collaboration differ drastically for every project, the focus on clear communication and trust should remain the same.


Here are 5 tips to make the process as smooth as possible:


1. Work toward a specific goal

  • • Exploration of shared ideas to create an art piece
  • • What are you trying to say with this piece?
  • • How are you going to get your message across?
  • • What form will the final product take?




2. Establish clear expectations

  • • How does your collaboration take place?
  • • Who will work on what parts of the project?
  • • When will you reach project completion?
  • • How will ultimate decisions be made?
  • • By a leader or majority rule or consensus?
  • • Should you sign a contract?



3. Trust the process and each other

  • • Collaboration means giving up absolute control and only works if you believe in the vision of all partners.
  • • Trust that their decisions are for the good of the project
  • • Keep in mind that expectations may change throughout the creative process.
  • • Continually check in and agree on new expectations



4. Embrace happy accidents

  • • Discovery is often the goal of creation. We look for the breakthrough idea, the one we didn’t even know we had. Collaboration doubles the possibility of running into a curveball or finding a unique solution. Embrace the limitations of the project and keep your eyes open to unexpected good.




5. Offer constructive critique

  • Use critique as a tool, not a weapon Be supportive and authentic in everything you say. Communicate from a place of gentleness and kindness, remembering we hold our creations close to the heart.
  • • Listen as much as you talk; your co-makers also have a voice in the project. You chose to work with this person(s) for specific reasons, don’t discount their ideas now. Keep in mind that we collaborate to create something greater than we can make alone.


Want more help?


By Melanie Bindon, Art Gym Denver