REFLECTION – COLLABORATION

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.

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