I have really enjoyed the collaboration process and could not have asked for a better group of people to create artwork with. I have been incredibly lucky in that I have made friends from collaborating as well as creating interesting artwork as a group. We immediately got on and started thinking about how we could amalgamate all of our strengths into a group project. We quickly noticed that the one thing that we had in common was drawing and set to work on researching artists that have produced collaborative drawings together. We met up numerous times to produce collaborative drawings in coffee shops and café’s as well as at university and I can confidently say that creating these drawings didn’t seem like an inconvenient effort to any of us and that we all thoroughly enjoyed spending the time creating art together. I think the secret to our success was that we kept the sessions very casual and never put too much pressure on anyone, we just took in the experienced and enjoyed each others company.
In terms of the work we created, we were all amazed by how well the drawings that we made were turning out and wanted to challenge ourselves further. We decided to incorporate mixed media into our work. We met up and each brought something to make marks with that we felt related to our discipline or sketchbook work. The pieces ended up being textural and sewn into and covered in tissue paper, drawn on top of, sketched into and painted on to create incredibly successful outcomes. We felt that all the drawings showed a little piece of each one of us and our individual projects as well as containing our journey as a group. I have learnt a lot about working with others and acquired further social skills from working with strangers. Looking back, I don’t think that anything was unsuccessful about collaborating with these people.
A few things didn’t quite go to plan like we had to rearrange meeting up sometimes and sometimes members of the group had other commitments but I quickly learnt that that’s life. The works we created have all been successful in their own right but in my opinion the most successful work is our final stop motion animation. It shows all of our drawings coming together to create one drawing, just like us individual students came together to form a collaborative art group. I had never experimented with clay before and animating it was a lot of fun. I have learnt a lot from the members of my group. Some of them used tracing paper to draw on in their sketchbooks which inspired me to incorporate its use into my photo-manipulations. It has ended up being a key component in the consolidation of my individual work and I don’t think it would have been without participating in this collaboration.
I would definitely not have produced a stop motion animation of my photo-manipulations if we hadn’t experimented with producing them as a collaborative because I’m not sure I would have been confident enough because of the sheer number of photographs that were included. I was shocked by how well our collaborative drawing animation turned out and it definitely inspired me to make one of my own as a final piece portraying the hidden loneliness of city life.
We all agreed that the journey we have undergone has been far more important to us than the outcomes that we have created.
I have learnt so much from the collaboration process and would definitely recommend it. I feel it has taught me how to be more of a professional art practitioner from having a professional relationship with others. We enjoyed our time together but we knew we had work that we needed to get done so I feel we all learnt how to formulate a healthy balance of work and play. I am delighted to say that we all agreed that we would stay friends and that if we ever needed any artistic advice then we would all be happy to help each other out as it is always useful to obtain the opinion of students specializing in another discipline. We all went for a drink after our final presentation and reflected on what a positive experience collaboratively making art has been for each of us. I have learnt that collaboration is very give and take. You have to work together, take in the input of others and give your opinion in order to be successful.
As a group, we delivered a final presentation of our journey as a collaborative, showing how well we believe we have collaborated together and the outcomes that have come out of us working with each other and learning from one another. We also watched the presentations of all the other groups and made notes. I found that our presentation was more about the journey we have all undertaken together rather than our outcomes and individual work. Most of the other groups were very focused on presenting their individual projects and research before getting to the collaboration half way through. We didn’t feel this was relevant and so started our presentation by stating that the one thing we all have in common is drawing and how we decided to build on that to make collaborative work. Below is a Link to our final presentation.
I have also included some screen shots from the presentation above:
We all felt creating this presentation really consolidated our collaborative journey and showed to us how much we had achieved and how well we have all got on. It has been a positive experience for all of us and we have each learnt from it and it has even informed our subject and individual work. We included all of our drawing sessions into the presentation and displayed the outcomes from these sessions to the audience. We mentioned all of the artists that have inspired our collaboration, both our drawings and animations and that our communication via facebook and in person has been incredibly important to our success. The book we made full of documentation was a centre piece of the presentation on a table in front of the projection for people to browse through, it is a highly personal document full of each of our handwriting, feedback, ideas and outcomes. We felt it deserved to be acknowledged. Playing our videos as part of the presentation was a definite success and showed the audience physical evidence of what we have produced. It was great that we were able to show both 2D and 4D work feeding into each other within our collaborative.
The delivery of our presentation went really well, we all got involved and spoke as a collaborative rather than individually. Everyone sounded really passionate about what they were talking about and it all ran very smoothly once we got going. Our presentation definitely showed that we had worked really well together but we felt we needed to express quite how much we had enjoyed it and that we had learnt so much for one another. We all agreed that we would definitely be meeting up in the future and if we ever needed any opinions about our work from the angle of another discipline we would be calling on the people we have worked with in this collaboration.
After we had successfully delivered the presentation, we celebrated our achievements and went for a drink as a group. It was quite an emotional end to a body of hard but highly enjoyable work and everyone appeared sort of sad that it was coming to a close. I would definitely work with these people again and as well as working successfully with these people, through this process I have also made new friends.
As a group collaboration, we have produced a book, full of documentation of the journey that we have undertaken whilst producing work as a collaborative. We were just going to display the book at our final presentation so that people could look through it, but after attending a tutorial it was clear that we needed to emphasize it more. The tutors were really pleased with our book and thought it would be a shame if it was optional for people to see it and so suggested that we make a page by page video clip of the book to include within our presentation. We welcomed this suggestion:
We agree that this book is more of a piece in itself rather than something to support our collaboration because it is a collaboration, it includes work from all of us and everyone’s different handwriting makes it quite personal. We will be including this video in our final presentation.
Today, we met up as a group and decided that we would combine the two stop motions that we have worked on and produce one final animation from them. We decided it would be more successful if we integrated them rather than just playing them one after the other, so we worked on this until we were happy with the result. Below is our group collaborative final Stop motion animation:
We are incredibly pleased with the result and feel that the combination of drawing and clay work ties in all the strengths of each individual in the group and portrays our inputs from each of our disciplines as a collaboration. We will be showing this piece as part of our final presentation along with some of the drawings we have created and our collaborative documentation sketchbook.
We met up as a group today and discussed our original timetable and how to progress over the next few weeks. The original plan was to work with creating a new animation using what we’ve learnt and make a large collaborative drawing, but we got all of the work we have produced together, and didn’t realise quite how much work we have already made. We were delighted to learn that we had been enjoying this collaboration so much that we hadn’t really stepped back and looked and reflected on what we had done. Today, we decided that we will put the two animations we have already made into one video as a final animation and instead of making a large drawing, we will display 3 of the best A1 pieces we have created.
We worked on our collaborative book today and brought it up to date with documentation.
After that we wrote some written reflection and formulated an action plan up to the assessment point on the 18th March. This included mashing together our animations, reflecting, finishing documenting and creating our book and then finally, working on our final presentation to be presented to all the other collaborative groups.
Finally, we decided it would be beneficial to consolidate and conclude our book by writing about how this collaboration has influenced our own individual practice.
We each wrote a small paragraph about what we had learnt and will take away from this experience and we were delighted that every one of us had written about a positive experience whilst working in a collaborative group. We have worked really hard and want to enjoy celebrating what we have made and portraying that in a presentation rather than stressing out about making new things. Our work has a lot of potential and direction and that is enough for us. We are proud of ourselves and each other for what we have managed to achieve in such a short space of time working around other commitments.
To recap, on our first meeting, we met and produced some A3 initial collaborative drawings, that we decided would eventually become part of a book that we produce together. Today, after finishing the final edits to our animation and uploading it to YouTube, we met up to work on the book some more. We started by producing A3 sheets of drawings that relate to our own individual projects, to show where we started and how we got a feel for each other’s drawing etc.
We then thought about all the research we had done to come up with the ideas we have and started documenting artist research and animation inspirations in the form of printed imagery and hand written text. In terms of collaboration, we each wrote something on every page, it’s nice to see all of our different hand writing on a page together and the different thoughts on things and comments people made on sessions we have undertaken and things we have made and researched.
After that, we thought about how this book was perfect for documentation and we included images of us doing collaborative drawing and pictures of us working as a group. Again, we added hand written text and took a step back and looked at all the pages we had created. At the moment, we have lots of a3 pages to create the book and it is looking like it’s going to be a highly valued document.
We are excited to add more imagery into it and for the textile members of the group to bind it or thread it into a complete book. It will definitely make a treasured item to accompany our large drawing and animation as it shows are journey and contains a little piece of each one of us.
We also had a tutorial this morning with tutor contact and we were pleased to learn that they were really shocked by how well we were collaborating and commended us on our work. They helped us along with ideas for our next animation and commented on how well the music complemented our animation and described it as quite magical. They encouraged our existing ideas and helped us finalize them. We are looking forward to more guidance and feedback when we see them next time with new work.
Here is the Stop Motion Animation of a collaborative drawing that we all created together. We got together to create the drawing and took pictures of it from above every few seconds. It was really difficult to take a picture in exactly the same place as the previous image, and as a result the stop motion does jump around a little bit. This is only a practice animation, but when we come to make one for the final outcome, we will definitely need to set it up and use a tripod to hold the camera in place and prevent this. It is really interesting to see the development of one of our drawings through photography and animation and to be honest, as I had never animated such a large, collaborative piece before, I wasn’t really sure how it was going to turn out, but for a first attempt we all felt it was better than we expected. It really captures the journey of our drawing and highlights our collaboration by showing all the different parts of the drawing collaborating at once.
Now we have had a practice, and are happy with the process of producing Stop Motion Animations, we will produce a more professional standard of animation using a tripod to keep the camera still. We are thinking of including little clay models of people on top of the collaborative drawing (incorporating Chelsea’s ceramic influence further) and animating, then painting bits out with white paint and redrawing on top and animating that as well. We are keen to be a bit more experimental and look forward to producing a final animation piece.