Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guestpost: Similarties in collaborations

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Part 2 of 3 (read part 1 here)

Shauna, the writer
After my initial collaboration with Annemiek, I presented a paper at Great Writing Conference 2010 (an international creative writing conference held at a UK university every year) with screen writer Karen Lee Street. We examined the creative processes Annemiek uses in jewellery making and analysised Karen’s collaboration with the painter Sam Street:

Karen and I found that while the outcomes and materials used differ hugely, the creative processes involved in creating jewellery/stories, art/stories have a lot in common – all rely on natural inspiration in order to create. Karen and Sam’s collaborations and inspirations echoed the “accidental” collaboration which myself and Annemiek had naturally experienced earlier. The academic research was an interesting way for me to then reflect on my collaboration with Annemiek.

After the initial story/bowl collaboration (see part 1) we attempted to collaborate using themes.
Based on my story “Lucky Horseshoe” we went with the idea of lucky numbers. Interestingly, neither of us were inspired by this to actually create. We talked via email about it, but still, nothing came of it. So, we decided to meet in person to talk about our collaborations. We both felt that meeting face to face would allow more freedom and movement to come into the collaboration.

Expression of Freedom
photograph by Astur Photograpy

Our previous “accidental” collaboration had followed the “process” of allowing creative freedom to work its way into a shape of its own. As we talked, we realised that we both felt the same - inspiration for both writing and craft was what led to the creation of something. So, the stories and the bowls, the products, will form the “plan” rather than a logical plan of “action”, we’re following now a plan led by the outcomes.

I’m currently working on a story based on one of Annemiek’s story bowls and we’re hoping that Annemiek in turn will be inspired by my story to create another bowl. In this way our collaboration is an evolving, cyclical process where image and word are assigned equal importance. The end results are tangible, measurable and indeed, for sale.
Every bowl, as they say, tells a story....

Annemiek, the crafter
As both Shauna and myself had left our desk jobs to create, very soon we both formed the idea to do something together, but as Shauna describes the initial idea of lucky numbers was too restricting and did not lead to anything. It was only when we let go that it started to work. And I guess that is part of the creative process, the freedom, the letting go.

I do like that way of working very much. Let a story, a line, the material speak to me and so create something new, very intuitive, nothing complicated. I do like the idea of a bowl leading to a story and leading to another completely new and different story. Thus the whole of bowls and stories form a never ending story and becomes part of the natural flow, thus reflecting the original inspiration of nature itself.

Even before I knew I would be creating story bowls and before I knew would be collaborating with Shauna, I had this logo designed for my company Two Trees which I wanted to be so that it would remind one of the circle of life too. Amazing how things always come together :-)

So how about you, do you get into a collaboration with other creative minds and if so how does it work for you? We would love to hear your comments.