Sunday, September 7, 2014

Collaborative Journeys

I work alone, in my basement studio. I enjoy the control I have over my studio space, my time, and my creative process. So why work collaboratively? I am learning that there are many reasons to embark on a creative project with another person, despite the process not always being so comfortable.

Collaborative Vases made by Tommy Frank and Chandra DeBuse, 2014
The past year has been rich in collaborative explorations. Last fall I worked with Tammy Marinuzzi, Assistant Professor at Gulf Coast State College on a 2-person show called Time In. We produced two-dimensional drawings, paintings and collages on paper and wood. The second round of collabs happened at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in August. Many of the invited artists during Session Four worked on collaborative projects (see image below of a work in progress with Rain Harris). It was at Watershed that Tommy Frank and I began collaborating on some ideas for tableware. Our collaboration will continue for the next several months, as we work toward producing pieces for a show at NCECA-Providence.
Wall tile in process with Rain Harris and Chandra DeBuse, 2014

Several months ago, I heard an interview on Fresh Air between Terry Gross and a musician who had worked collaboratively (can't remember his name, I'll try to find it). He told Gross that the reason to work with another person is that collaboration will take you places that you couldn't have gone to on your own. That resonated with me, as I embarked on my collaborative journeys. Permission to stretch my creative voice has been the biggest benefit of working on new projects with others.

I am enjoying a new (to me) podcast called Song Exploder, where musicians take apart songs, piece by piece and tell the story of how they were made. Many of the episodes deal with collaboration and the magic that arises when two or more creative individuals work on a project together.

If you have any anecdotes of the creative collaborative process, I'd love to hear them!  Shoot me a message or leave a comment below.

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