How important is collaboration in art?

Photo from a "CreativiTea" gathering - a monthly arts group for women

Photo from a “CreativiTea” gathering – a monthly arts group for women

I recently read an article listing 7 lessons for artists from the life of JRR Tolkein. One in particular stood out to me. You can read them all here…

… but Lesson #5: “Artists need collaborative friends”…

Now this one I find important. Do you have friends or family who support you in what you do? Great! Do you have friends who you collaborate and create with? Is there a group of artists that you meet with regularly (or irregularly… we are artists after all)?

The Inklings in Oxford… The Surrealists in Paris… The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood…  An artist friend of mine told me about a group of filmmakers that gathered regularly for a group critique. They had “Fight Club” rules: If it was your first time you had to share with the group something you had created.

These are not just friends gathering to listen to one another’s stories. These artists critiqued each other’s work. They were vulnerable with one another. They created together. They envisioned creating as something greater than themselves alone.

At the end of Lesson #5 the writer asks…

Are you cultivating friendships in a community of artists that collaborate for the sake of something greater than themselves?

Well, are you?


3 thoughts on “How important is collaboration in art?

  1. I totally have a group of collaborative artist friends…we’re just creating math solutions and innovative design on a wiki instead of your usual pencil, paper, paint. 🙂 Working on this wiki project has definitely been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in Vancouver.

    Hmmm…I have more thoughts about this. Tune in to my post next week!

  2. This is so true. Having critique and encouragement is so important for creativity. Saturday is my monthly writing workshop with friends. I was just about to start writing for this weekend, and was making up excuses to not get to work. Thank you for the reminder why I am doing this and why I enjoy it so much.

  3. Pingback: art, community, hope | the jumping cat

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