Afternoon all. This week a want to talk about a topic that’s got a bit of a personal twist for me and in part explains how I eventually found my way to Uberfriendship.
If you’re an arty type like me you’ve probably wanted to get some kind of group collaborative project off the ground at some point. A creative undertaking that you and you’re similarly arty cohorts can get involved in and produce a finished short film/ comic/ music piece/ sculpture/ video game/ literary wonder that everyone can be proud of. Something to test your metal, hone your skills and have fun doing.
however if you’re unfortunately slightly more like me, you’ll have run into the annoyingly large stumbling block of none of your friends wanting to do anything that involves that much work so this little blog will cover some of the ways you can find a collaborative group of people and hopefully turn your artistic daydreams into a reality.
I’m gonna cover how to find a group to get involved in and how you might get support for your own artist projects.
Have something to contribute
Before we get into finding a project to be involved in, first you need to actually be able to do something. You have to be a beneficial asset to the team and not need your hand holding while you’re completing a task for the project.
For example, a while ago a few friends and I were working on a personal 3D animation project (I think it was something to do with robots) and someone came to us who wanted to get involved and help out. We were grateful for the offer but the guy didn’t know much about 3D which means we would have had to train him up before he could help and we didn’t really have the time to spare.
It may seem obvious, but if you’re offering to help out with a project, you have to be able to help. You can’t assume they have the time to train you or find a place to put you. The desire to help is always appreciated but you’ve got to be practical and think “how could I help?”
Clubs and what-not
Alright, time to actually find an outlet for all that talent you’ve got. You may not think it but chances are, there’s a lot more clubs and organisations in your local area than you know about. Do a quick search on the internet of your town and you’ll probably find a club or some other group of people interested in the same artistic field you are and wanting to get a creative endeavour of the ground.
Even if you’re not in university, they’ve usually got tonnes of publicly open groups for you to join where you can find a few driven individuals. Just give the university a call and see what’s available.
If (like me) you have no one in immediate proximity that has an inclination to do something arty, take to the internet. We’re fortunate to live in a time when communication and collaboration over any distance is easy and it’s time to take advantage of that. There are thousands of clubs, groups and organisations on websites and forums just waiting for people to chip in. A lot of art and community art sites have areas specifically for people looking to collaborate on something.
Is there a group on the net already doing the kind of projects you like? Awesome, get in touch with them. Just send them an email saying something like “I like your work, I’m awesome at this, I’d like to get involved if I can.” The worst they can do is say no thanks and if you’re good at your chosen skill, they’ll probably be happy for the offer.
Getting your own going
Alright, you’ve worked on other peoples stuff, now to get your own shit made. Artistic collaborators, assemble!
Clubs and what-not again
All those clubs and university groups I mentioned before, time to head back. If you’re already a member, awesome. Just pitch your idea to the group and see who wants to get involved. If you haven’t signed up yet just send the club an email/give them a phone call and ask if you can pitch your idea to them. Even if no one there is interested, they can probably help you get in touch with other groups and clubs where you can try your luck.
Head back to those art sites and art community forums and pitch your idea. Since you’re the one pitching the project you have to at least make it look like you know what you’re talking about and have some kind of schedule and plan of attack ready to take on your project.
Side note: don’t try and pitch your idea to an already established group or organisation on the internet. I can almost guarantee that they won’t be interested. They’re too busy with their own arty shit.
Your project, your pain in the arse
Once you’ve got your group of artistic mavericks together it’s time to get the ball rolling on this project, which is entirely your responsibility. If you’re the one who came up with this whole idea then you have to be the driving force. It’s your baby and unfortunately no matter how invested your team is, they’ll never have as much passion or drive to get this project finished as you do. That’s not a criticism of the team, it’s just a fact. It came from your head and no one is ever going to know it as well as you do so you have to keep up the enthusiasm and momentum. You want this to happen, you have to work.
Beyond that just be flexible with your ideas and schedule, listen to your team and remember, they’re effectively doing you a favour here so don’t be a dick (said the booming Wil Wheaton voice from the sky). Do all this and you never know, you and your newly formed group of collaborators might just make something great.
And that’s all I got. If you’re trying to get your own collaborative project off the ground, I wish you all the luck in the world. Hopefully this bit of rambling will help.
See you next week!