Collaboration: Creativity and Then Some!
One of the most productive forms of creativity is project collaboration. Working with another artist, writer, actor, etc. enhances the creative efforts of a project.
Lori and I (2000)
In the past, I have collaborated with some amazing and gifted artists. Lori Gundlah, a dear friend and concert pianist, accompanied me on piano as I read my poetry. I also collaborated with Trish Harms, a dance educator. We did tag team workshops in a middle school where I taught a poetry lesson within the subject matter, then she came into the class to teach some form of movement. An example would be in math class, I taught the students to make diamante poems. Trish taught them to make shapes with their bodies.
Trish and I (2000)
Project collaboration can be fruitful, but it can also be problematic. These tips are good to keep in mind.
- Keep it small. Project collaboration with too many people gets confusing.
- Be willing to compromise. Divas and drama queens need not apply for collaborations.
- Don't be afraid to think out of the box. Writers and dancers can collaborate, as can artists and musicians.
- Have fun! If it's not fun, something is terribly wrong.
Later in the spring, I am looking forward to collaborating with Louise Minks, a local artist and kindred spirit. She has traveled to Africa, painting pictures from her travels there. We will be facilitating a program together called, "Possible Dreams for the Children of Africa." I will read from my book of poetry, Gogo's Dream: Swaziland Discovered. Louise will read from a book of short stories she wrote about her travels, as well as show her artwork. While we are still in the development stage of our project, collaboration with Louise is exciting.
This excitement flows over into my other work. That spark of creativity that was ignited by collaborating with Louise is burning brightly in my freelance work, my crafts and even my housekeeping!
What types of project collaborations have you tried? I'd love to hear about your stories, ideas, experiences and dreams.