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It's been a while since my first collaboration but nonetheless worth mentioning! My first collaboration was with a epic cinematic music composer called Mika Lumijarvi. Working with him, a passionate Finnish composer, i learnt many things. I consider myself lucky as he is a very relaxed person, he understands what it takes to be an artist. He understands it's a passion and that nothing comes overnight, meeting him early in my career was therefor really beneficial to me as i learnt alot in the process and really managed to push myself to the next level.



The digital age

It's wonderful how distance isn't really an issue anymore nowdays. As of now, i'm 34 years old and i remember having to call with a phone that was physically connected to the network. Having to have a notebook with you with phonenumbers, or simply try and memorize them. Sending letters to your sweetheart, writing them over and over again cause you made a mistake, or the color of your 12-color-pen-set didn't look as nice as you thought it would!

I went through the transition from analog to digital, i had my first phone when i was 15, my very first struggle to send an sms with the number-buttons was when i sent my, now late, grandfather a message that i had a phone and now could text him if i wanted to hop by. I even remember that it was on my way home from a long schoolday, i was cycling past purple colored heathlands with the late summer sun in my back, leaning with one leg on a wooden bench while i struggled with finding the right letters and fitting everything i wanted to say in the limited space you had back then to write. And my first experiënce with a computer was when i visited a friend of mine at an age of 11 i think. Her father was into coding so they had a PC. I was surprised and horrified at the same time to find out that my friend didn't have ANY interest in microsoft paint! Oh the horror! And that computer was just sitting there with that lovely program on it and i couldn't touch it as my friend much rather played dressup....

It's wonderful to think back of that now and at the same time realize how easy it is to have contact with anyone all over the world nowdays. Setting up my first collaboration was therefor an easy thing to do. I saw the request from a fellow artist (music) in the Evenant Design group with the request for a digital artist to make art for his music, sat back for a few minutes and simply contacted him with a facebook message. An hour later we decided to give it a go and before we knew it we were into a collaboration that would otherwise take weeks, if not months to accomplish!

Sending his music to me, music that wasn't available on the internet yet as it was still being developed, a few minutes and i could listen to it. Me giving feedback what feel the music gave and what kind of image popped up in my head. Receiving the thoughts and approval of Mika and being able to get started in a matter of hours, something i wouldn't have been able to imagine 25 years ago, or even 18 years ago for that matter, when i got my first 3,5 GB storage computer with windows '95 on it. That time where a download of a music track could take over 100 years to complete and the most amazing game you could play was something like pacman on a floppydisk.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApMnpIKOS8E

 

The benefits of a succesful collaboration

Collaborating with someone can be a blessing or a nightmare. It's more or less the same as receiving a gig, or having a boss. You have someone that needs something from you. Sometimes this means this person knows exactly what he wants, sometimes they adjust their work to your art. But no matter the case, when you collaborate with other artists, be that musical artists, be that other illustrators or concept artists or you name it; Most of the time they understand that creating a piece take time, that it doesn't come out of thin air, and therefor, unlike with some non-creative people, it tends to be a pleasure to work on collaborations like that. There is a mutual understanding both ways, the blood and tears that when into a piece, the time, the research, the doing and redoing, and redoing, overcoming obstacles, not only technical ones but sometimes also emotional ones when you feel something is wrong but you have no way of pinpointing it, laying awake at night, knowing in only a couple of hours your buzzer will go and you have to get ready for your other job which you still have on the side, cause as you know, being an artist doesn't always equal having a stable income. But other artists understand that.
It's truly worth starting to collaborate early in your career.

  • You learn what people need of you.
  • You learn to communicate properly.
  • You learn to tackle problems or eventual hiccups early.
  • You learn to work with reference pieces the other party sent in.
  • You learn to work outside your comfort zone.
  • You get inspired by things another artist does.
  • You can widen your horizon and pick up on new idea's.
  • You learn to communicate what you want or need.
  • You learn to compromize where needed.
  • You learn to work with a timescedule.
  • And much more!

If you choose to freelance it gives you a true headstart. For freelancers there is no company that takes them in and teaches them all the in's and out's, a freelancer has to learn that on it's own, therefor likeminded people are a great way to start. Especially if you are not really that good at communicating, or maybe abit people-shy, which is often the case with artists, this truely is a gentle way in as the other party already understands what it takes to do the work you do. Everything else will solve itself after overtime.

Did you ever do a collaboration? And in which field? How did it go?

~Much love, Tess

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Reacties   

#1 Eton 28-08-2019 16:26
Thank's for this amazing post! I was asked to collaborate with someone and wasn't sure if i should, now i do!
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