During the creative process, collaboration can strengthen our courage, and magnify our inspiration.
Today Tom and I had an invigorating walk on the beach. It was a beautiful, still morning with blue skies and one tiny cloud in the middle. As I walked along the shore with my camera in hand, I scanned the shoreline for photographic opportunities. I tend to dawdle while absorbing the abundance of scenes in the environment. Tom, on the other hand, in his desire to get more exercise, moved swiftly passed me. When Tom reached a certain point, he turned around and came back to touch base, and then progressed further on his path. In the end, we both remained connected, while at the same time we followed our internal needs. For both of us, our walk was meditative, thus feeding our creative juices.
Once we were back inside, Tom wrote a poem while I tweaked my new photos, and played with ideas for my next drawing. (To me, creating is playful.) It didn't matter how either of us expressed our chosen form of creativity, but merely that we were both doing something creative.
This mutual process is symbolic of what I mean by creative collaboration. Collaborating doesn't mean working in the same medium, or trying to solve the same creative issue, such as: developing a new business, or working on a play. I am speaking of what happens energetically. When I am with people of like mind and spirit -- in that creativity is a huge part of their lives -- it helps to heighten my creative energy. When we honor each other's forms of creativity and respect each other's process, it is a powerful connecting factor. It is possible for two or more people to collaborate on one project, or creative focus, and come out of that experience enhancing their own creative voice. When this happens it is exhilarating.
In some ways, co-creating is like meditating in a group, where the focus and energy is directed toward the same goal -- inner awareness. When I attended a meditation retreat, with people having the same intent, everyone's energy and focus was magnified. My personal experience was much richer and deeper than when I meditate alone. However, once I had meditated in a group, I could take that focused, energetic experience with me, to help with my individual meditation.
The same is true for creating. Being in contact with people of like mind and spirit helps amplify my focus, intent and commitment. When I lived in Albany I participated in a small group of three artists, each working in different mediums: steel sculptures, woven sculptures, and silk screen prints. After each monthly meeting I would come home totally psyched, and couldn't wait to get to my studio. Ideas swirled in my head. I had more inspirations then I could ever create. That is a good thing.
I encourage everyone to find individuals and/or groups of like-minded people, to help boost your courage, commitment and in turn, your creative inspirations.