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Creative Collaborations: How to Boost Your Chances of Success

By: Georgia Schumacher

June 16, 2015

Photo shoot

The image of the lone artist is a popular stereotype, but, in the professional worlds of media arts, culinary, fashion, and design, art is more often produced in teams. During your time as a student of the creative arts, you’ll repeatedly find yourself involved in group projects for classes or student organizations—an experience that can help to prepare you to function as part of a team when you enter the workforce.

Businesses in every field are built and then grown by groups of people working together to bring innovative ideas to life. For example, if you’re a fashion designer, you’ll not only work with other designers and fashion marketers, but you’ll also need to partner with photographers, graphic and web designers, advertisers, and others who will help you to promote your clothing line. If you’re a chef, a game designer, or an animator (to name just a few examples), a similar truth applies.

However, while creative collaborations can produce outstanding results, working with others isn’t always easy. Use the tips below to learn how you can successfully team up with other artists.

1. Establish Common Ground

Before getting started, gather everyone together to discuss how you’ll work together and what each person wants to get out of the project. It’s important to make individual expectations clear and ensure the entire team is working towards the same common goals.

2. Don’t Be Afraid of Conflict

When you get a group of passionate, creative people together, conflicts are bound to arise. Rather than trying to sweep disagreements under the rug, treat this as a good thing, as it can lead to greatness. Accept the fact that differences in opinion are going to happen and develop a strategy to overcome them.

3. Keep an Open Mind

When it comes to the creative process, all ideas should be welcome. Give your group members the respect they deserve by keeping an open mind and listening to input from everyone. Sometimes the ideas that initially sound the wildest are the ones that becomes the greatest successes.

4. Accept Different Work Styles

Just because one style of work has always proven successful for you, doesn’t mean everyone needs to adhere to these standards. As long as each person meets their deadlines without impacting your work, let them do their part in the manner that works best for them.

5. Take Time for Team Bonding

Working together is about more than just checking items off your to-do list. Enjoy some quality team bonding together, as getting to know one another is important. When you have a better grasp of what motivates and inspires each person, it’s much easier to function as a team.

6. Assemble a Diverse Group

Sometimes the most unlikely collaborations enjoy the greatest success. Look for people who have something unique to bring to the group. Sure, it’s probably easier to join forces with like-minded people or those you already know well, but that doesn’t allow your project to have the kind of diverse viewpoints needed to make it great.

7. Know When to Walk Away

It’s only natural to have creative differences, but it’s important to know which obstacles can be overcome and which can’t. If you and your partners want different things, can’t seem to get anything accomplished due to scheduling conflicts, or have major differences in opinion, try having a serious discussion about what to do next. It may be time to pack it up and move on, or to turn to your instructor or organizational leader for guidance.

Want more tips about how to succeed as a student at an Art Institutes school? Watch a YouTube video where some of our current students offer advice for new students!

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By: Georgia Schumacher

June 16, 2015

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