Creative Collaboration

by Sam Watson

Collaborative creation helps artists achieve things they otherwise would not be able to. It is helpful to bring together collaborators from various backgrounds who have various skill sets and levels of experience. When these people work together they form a team that can you make me solve a problem through their collective efforts by applying their differing skills to the problem. According to the article the collaborative creation process consists of three main activities: creative conceptualization, realization (or implementation), and evaluation.


When artists from different disciplines attempts to collaborate there are certain things that need to be in place to enable this to happen smoothly. The first necessary element is creating a shared language. This is necessary because individuals from different disciplines will have a different professional vocabulary and understand different concepts. The second necessity is developing a common understanding of the artistic intentions and vision of the collaborators stop people often use design artifacts to express their creative vision. For example, during a brainstorming session an interaction designer might start drawing flowcharts, whereas a composer would create musical sketches using a keyboard. When the right tools are available creative ideas can be more easily transmitted and there is less risk of misunderstanding between collaborators. This type of fluid and open communication helps collaborators reach a shared vision. The third key element is for collaborators to engage in thorough brainstorming and ideas sharing. This phase is when many of the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration can be fully realized. Individuals bring their varied skills to bear on a problem, with complimentary views creating a more holistic approach to the problem and fostering outside-the-box thinking. Finally, sharing knowledge resources helps collaborators achieve their aims and goals. By exchanging resources, collaborators begin working on an even playing field and find it easier to resolve both technical and artistic problems. Learning through knowledge sharing is particularly useful as direct contact with a new way of thinking stimulates the generation of options. 


Having a specific role and responsibilities frees your creativity. You don’t hold back as much. You devote yourself completely to your “specialization”. You depend on your partner to bring balance. This pairing of “opposites” generates more fruitful disagreements and enables deeper synthesis of ideas. 


There is a reason why large management consulting firms such as BCG, Bain, and McKinsey adopt the hiring practices that they do. These firms focus on recruiting an employees from various different fields of study. The idea is that each member of the team has been trained, through their university studies and previous careers, to think in different ways. An engineer, an arts student, a lawyer, a marketing major, and a biologist will all look at the same problem through a different lens and apply a different rationale and way of thinking to solve the problem. Through their combined perspectives are unique solution to the problem can be found. The same is true of artistic collaborators from different disciplines. Each will apply their knowledge and skills in a different way to the same problem and achieve a unique outcome.