Because collaboration is powerful. It is about community and relationship. Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast, Summer Sessions, where we're talking about hot topics for the season, that'll make a difference to your art. I'm your host, Marijanel joined by my co-host, Charla Maarschalk. Let's get to it. Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast, Summer Session. This is a brand new season of hot topics for this season. And today, what are we talking about, Charla?
What's our hot topic?
Collaboration. That's such a scary word.
It is. I think that it's a, it's a word that artists have used for eons. Like, forever. Artists have always collaborated because we're kind of like this, this weird, if dare I say fringe part of society that people have not ever understood. And so, we always kinda have to be together, and we always have to collaborate, but collaborate is like a hot word on the internet now because a lot of people are collaborating. A lot of influencers collaborate to build their following, to expand their business. So, it's kind of a hot topic in the world in general. Um, that's, that's kind of how I see it. I feel like collaboration's always been a word that artists have used, but it has some new meanings today.
Yeah. Well, the ancient meaning of collaboration in the dictionary is the action of working with someone, the action of working with someone to produce or create something. So, in essence, collaboration is not only something artists do -- like you and I collaborate just to produce this show. It's it's the co-production of really anything. But in the terms of our painting...
It makes it more fun.
It does. It does 'cause you're not alone. And at the Bold Artist podcast, we're all about not being alone. And I mean, that's the whole drive behind the Bold School Community is to create the new social media, the online community, where you're not alone and to give... And this whole podcast is about giving artists voices. That was our big push through season one. And so we're all about being together, but there are some scary parts about collaboration, too, um, that I know you firsthand, um, experienced some not so good, uh, aspects of collaboration, which we'll talk about in a minute. But the good stuff... If we could dig into the good stuff about it for a second, when you begin to include the community around you, the, um, your peers and, and you know, other like-minded individuals into collabs from a business standpoint, you gain each other's audiences, um, from, uh, artist growth experience, you learn from each other, something that you, you might never have discovered by yourself alone.
And so there's some really amazing aspects to collaboration that make us want to encourage it in our students and in, um, anyone that we would give suggestions to as artists would say, definitely collaborate. Um, I do know, like just to bring some tips to the table here today in our, um, first summer session of the Bold Artist podcast is to say that there's many ways to collaborate, uh, and to explore the ways to collaborate. It doesn't mean you have to trade a canvas back and forth and paint on the same canvas, which was partly Charla's bad experience that we'll talk about in a minute.
But instead it could be, um, more along the lines of collaborating for a show, whether that be an actual physical location show where, um, you know, onlookers come to see your art together, you know, a group of you or, um, two of you together, or to do an online presentation that you collab, um, about.
And, and that could be even like blog collaborations or...
Some form of advertising collabs. Now, I've done collabs, um, before with shows, actual shows like in a physical location. And one tip that I can say that worked really well for me, is to collaborate with an artist that is a slightly different medium, and a slightly different style, but that whose styles blend together, like our styles compliment one another.
And I found that really useful because, um, what was great, one of the shows that I'm, I'm thinking about as I share this is that we drew from both of our audiences. So, we were both gaining an extra sets of eyes and customers, but they were that that same kind of customer was ideal for both of us because they liked her work. And so they, because we complimented each other, they'd be bound to like my work.
And then the, the ones who came appreciated both, and we, we actually did a collab piece, um, of art and sold it. So, um, it might not be your jam or your thing to share on the same exact project, but her and I did share on that project, we, and we created something to together that sold, which was really exciting for both of us. Um, she didn't think it would sell, and I knew it would. I was like, you watch, you watch. Um, and so anyway, those are just some tips of just, you don't have to paint on the same canvas or the same project you can, you can, um, collaborate in, in so many ways that you can use your imagination. And in one more tip, is that you can gather together collaborators to have a show that has a theme. So, I remember being part of a show one time that the theme was butterflies, and there might have been, I'm gonna venture to say like maybe 30 artists that painted butterflies. And I think that they, there was a suggested palette of, you know, bright jewel tones or, or something along those lines that everyone, so, you know, the show had a cohesive flow and there was many different kinds of butterflies. Being part of something like that is so exciting. You gain everyone's audience and you learn new things. You push yourself forward.
It would beautiful, uh, experience at the end to go to a show
Like that as well, and see the diversity and how everybody presented the butterfly. I think that would just be beautiful.
Yes, it was beautiful. And, and you know, if you're listening to this and you think, well, no one invites me to be part of collaborations, and I feel left out. I would encourage you to learn how to start your own. You don't have to wait to be invited. It's really easy to, to just dig into some of those administrative skills that you, that every artist has buried in there somewhere.
That word is terrible. I hate that word. Administration.
No, there's a balance to the left and right brain. I always talk about the balance that we, we all can sharpen both sides, both the aspects of our brain and the analytical and administrative side, convenient, strengthened to artists.
Definitely. You're right.
And so dig into that. And, and just, even if you start with something simple. If you know of a local coffee shop that might hang a collaboration, you can talk to a group of artists, friends, um, and just say, hey, would everyone be interested in, you know, pick a theme, pick a palette. Um, use your creativity to come up with a collab and begin something. You don't have to wait for others to approach you. And you, you have all that it takes to begin something today in the area of collaboration. But there could be a dark side to collabs, too. Charla and I have talked about, you know, some negative experiences that have happened. So Charla, why don't you take it from here and share a little on that?
Well, first I wanna say, like, when I, I love the idea of a collaboration and I, I think my whole like career, my whole life I've loved to work together with other artists. Like, as a photographer, I loved to go... I had, I had a roommate who was a musician, and I loved working with her. She would do her music, and I would film her, and I'd photograph her. And I painted her, and her work inspired other things that I was doing. And I always felt like we were collaborating together. Um, so collaborating can look a lot of different ways. You know, it doesn't have to be just sharing a canvas, which is what gets me really uptight and upset when I think about artists collaborating. 'Cause I'll, I'm gonna share my story. It's not that exciting. Um, but collaborating is kind of, you know, if you look at it, like you create, um, like a body that works together. Like we are, when we all work together, we're bigger than the sum of all the parts, you know? And a, a body that works together,
If you have somebody who can function as the hand and somebody who can function as the foot, then you can now be more powerful together. So, you don't even have to collaborate with somebody who does what you do. They, you can collaborate with somebody who, um, I guess there has to be an element that you, you come together and that you mutually benefit one from the other, but you can create projects with, with people that have diversity in, I guess, in the arts, like in a diversity of mediums. It was, it's fun to work together with people who do things that are completely different than you. So, if you look at it as building a community, and building relationships, and creating something together, like if you're going to create a film, you're going to need a lot of different artists. You're going to need a costume designer, and a makeup artist, a set designer, people who are great with a camera, a sound designer, light designer, you're gonna need a lot of different, diverse artists. And they all work together to create this incredible one piece of art that everybody has equal part in putting their creativity and their skills into. And I think if we think that way we can come up with a lot of ideas on how we can collaborate as artists and not just pass our canvas to the next person to paint on.
Okay. So, while we have a few minutes left of this particular podcast, why don't you just share a little bit.
Share that story.
Without getting too much of a downer here, Charla.
Not too negative here, but.
You know, it's a university.
What happened? What happened here with this sharing of the canvas?
It's a university experience, which I don't have a lot of positive university experiences. A lot of them have a negative spin. I felt really uncomfortable in university. I did not enjoy my fine art degree. I never felt like I was a part of the team of fine artists in our, in our, um, faculty, whatever the right word is. I just felt different than them. I used to say they're so artsy fartsy and weird. And I am not. I wanna go ahead and make a living. I wanna be cool. I wanna be interesting. You know? I just never, I just, I don't... I had a lot of stuff going on. So, I was, that's kind of setting the scene is that I didn't really have, um, I wasn't in a tight knit community in my art school. I didn't really, I had one or two friends that we would kind of stick together.
We all thought the same way. We wanted to learn the applied arts. And we were in a fine art program. We didn't even know the difference at the time, but that's what, where it really was. The disconnect was there. So, I loved painting. Painting was always my number one thing. And I wanted to learn to be a good painter, but I felt like we never, ever were taught skills. And I just remember, and it was several years into our program and I, we went into class, and they set us up to create a painting with some, you know, a few rules around what we could paint. So, we all started our painting, and about, and I was actually liking what I was doing, and about halfway through the, the time we had allotted to paint, our professor stopped us and said, now you have to pass the painting three people to your right or whatever, and start painting on their painting.
And I was, everyone was like, what? Like we weren't told this was a collaboration. We're not collaborating. You're saying, give somebody half of my painting, and let them finish it? And ev... I don't even remember anybody being excited about this. And I remember I got a piece from a girl. I really loved her work. And I thought she was really talented. And I had no idea how to add to it. And I remember another girl who had a great piece -- um, the, the person that got her piece was really like out, out, out there artist who would do the crazy weird stuff. I'm not sure she had any skills or talent. So, she would always be over the top in her, her presentation. That's why I viewed her at the time, in my very judgemental twenty-something way. And she got this piece, and she just covered it in black paint and started over. I'm like, that's not fair. And I just remember this whole experience was, this is horrible. And that's horrible. And what are you doing? And what are you doing? And there's no rules. There's, there's no parameters or boundaries. Every, it was just pure chaos. And everybody was upset. And from there on, in, I, I feel like that traumatized me. And from there on, in, I'd be like, don't touch my art. Like, just don't come near my canvas unless you wanna buy it.
That's how I feel about food usually.
Food. My kids know don't touch my food.
Yeah. That's Ryan, he's like that.
But this might be, this might be a more positive exper, or it could be a more positive experience for you if you had had some control or knowledge of that from the beginning.
I think so. I think it was just a bad situation. I would never ever advise it. And, and to have not prepared anybody that that was going to happen.
Yeah, that's not fair.
You know, you put a lot of emotion or a lot of effort into something, and then you have to give it to somebody else who, who wrecks it really. There weren't many good pieces, in my opinion, at the end of that project. I don't even know what his point was. He never even told us what we were supposed to have learned from it, except that I was traumatized. Now I have PTSD.
And there are a lot of artists out there who've... They, there are a lot of artists out there who've gone through, um, like negative experience with collaborations. I do believe though, that we can take steps forward to get through that and find a healthy way for us to collaborate.
'Cause, we all have a personal way that we can do this. Sharing canvas won't be for everyone. Even sharing shows, even sharing shows. Won't be for everyone.
Yeah. I think that's a big one, too.
There are ideas.
Yeah. These are ideas to consider though, because collaboration is powerful. It is about community and relationship, and you expand, um, into new, like new seas of people through each other's audiences, and you learn from each other. So, there is mutual benefit to collaborating.
So, thank you for joining us on the Bold Artist Podcast, Summer Sessions, where we've talked about collaboration. And you can find us on boldschoolinc on Instagram, and to get on our mailing list, which is something you don't wanna miss out on, all of our upcoming events and exciting community news and topics you can get on our email list at boldschool.com. Until next time, keep creating.