By Barbara Bechtel
It can be a very solitary existence being an artist. Most artists feel the need for a certain amount of solitude in order for their inspirations and ideas to take shape. However, it is also important to reach out to those around you as a means to either discuss art, exchange tips and ideas, and uplift and encourage one another during the peaks and valleys of creativity.
The internet has made a invaluable contribution to the way we are able to communicate with each other and forge new relationships and alliances. Add blogs to the mix and it becomes an exciting way to collaborate and exchange ideas. Before I began making jewelry, I found and participated in some other art/mixed media swaps and was immediately hooked!
Collaboration, whether it is online through blog hops/ round robins, or whether it is exchanging a piece of work back and forth with a friend in another town is a great way to push yourself outside of the box. By working thematically or working collaboratively on the same piece, each artist can help each other learn new things or overcome specific problems they are having in their own work.
Many times, you may even be introduced to a new medium, technique, or style that will influence and change the way you work! It wasn't until I first participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party that I saw the potential of how such collaborations could help me with the solitude that a life being creative sometimes creates. Not only has participating in these types of exchanges allowed me to make new friends, it has even enabled me to connect with other people who live right in my backyard who I didn't know were there!
How do you use collaboration to help you grow in your work?
What ideas have you come up with to reach out and connect with other artist's and jewelry artisans?
If you're interested in participating in an upcoming swap, Lori Anderson is hosting Cup of Bead Soup, an extension of her Bead Soup Blog Party and I'm very excited to be the first art bead partner! For more information, please go check it out.