In this moment of enforced isolation collaboration is the key to staying grounded, unconsciously social, positivity productive and to get those creative juices flowing for your own well-being.
I get that there are some people out there for whom working with others is the worst kind of agony available, but for most of us, we unconsciously crave it and are all the better for it.
During this unimaginable moment in time, when we are all isolated in our respective environments, struggling with our new reality and the low-level exhaustion that comes with adaption and evolution, it’s hard to maintain creativity, focus or enthusiasm for anything, collaboration is a must.
I don’t know about you, but napping or ‘resting my eyes’ has intermittently become a burning desire or if I’m lucky an achieved goal since this situation began last month. What I am saying is that my own limited supply of energy is best reserved where possible, however, I’ve found that the best source of energy is simultaneously created and derived from engaging with other creatives. I am not suggesting being a creative energy-sucking vampire, but more that energy is clearly created from shared enthusiasm, the exchanging of ideas and truly creative collaborations.
The more I talk with people I rate and respect and come up fun, new and interesting ways of working and making together, the more excited and energised I get. It’s simple.
Influencers have ruined the true meaning of a collaboration which is really about working together to realise something.
It’s important to work with people that excite you with their ideas and inspire you with their work. It’s ideal if you can find a natural way of working together that compliments each contributors’ skills to create something you wouldn’t have otherwise achieved.
Break from the Monotony
Working with others and being inspired to think and make in different ways, is both about stimulating different parts of your brain and adding some diversity into your otherwise mundane day. A break from the usual, especially when the usual has become very limited is important for maintaining sanity and keeping a sharp mind. It may even help you find focus elsewhere.
Find that point in your day when you just can’t take it any longer and carve out some time to work with someone else or a group of people on a project that has nothing to do with your day to day stuff and allows you to think in a new way. Make sure this doesn’t become an added stress, as the point is to allow for relief and tapping into that energy well.
While I’m not suggesting setting a hard deadline and creating unnecessary urgency, I do think that some people thrive when they have an achievable goal, some targets, or meetings or a gentle tempo, as it can help you get across the finish line. If you’ve carved out 30 min a day to work on your project, as your sort of meditation, mental re-boot or palate cleanser, then you’ve built something into the day that you can look forward to while also achieving something creative and energising.
Doing it for Yourself
There doesn’t have to be a charitable aspect, deadline or delivery to your project. It can just be something fun and low stress between you and your pal or if you’ve got time to spare and would rather be busy and distracted make it as big as your comfortable with. It certainly feels good to help others while helping yourself if it doesn’t become stressful, so if that’s important to you make that the focus.
Artist friends of mine have started a round of Exquisite Corpse between them and some others are working on a Zine that they intend to post out to friends. Both are fabulous projects that give them an outlet for expression, a chance to work together and develop something that they’re proud of without having the pressure of external presentation.
Take the Punt
However, you do it, just try doing it. Reach out to someone who’s work you like, or a pal you know you work well with and see if they’re up for something. Think about the people you’ve been having great conversations with and spend a little time thinking if there isn’t something cool you could realise together. Work with people from a sector you’ve never worked in, but have always wanted to or realise a dream you’ve always wanted to make time for. It’s entirely up to you.
Whatever it is just give it a try. I promise you’ll get a little rush. And if at any point your collaboration stops giving you that energy, you can always just end it. Having something to look forward to that generates energy and maybe even creates something cool is surely worth giving a wee go?