Since I am not an illustrator myself, but specialise in motion graphics animation, working with illustrators gives me access to assets I can play with. Sometimes I also use stock illustrations but isn’t it so much more fun collaborating with another creative out there in the wide ocean of the internet? I feel like it brings the creative community closer together. Not only that, working in a team creates accountability.
Working in a Team
When you work on a solo passion project, you only have your self to account for. The responsibility to complete the project lies on your shoulders alone and you only have yourself to let down. As soon as you embark on a joint journey, you start sharing responsibility, successes and are inevitably motivated by the nagging guilt of letting someone else down if you don’t deliver. At least that’s how it works for me!
Having a collaboration partner for passion projects, adds to the sense of drive. It imitates the feeling of a client project, where you work with other team members or have a client expecting a final result. If you have never worked on a collaborative passion project and struggle with motivating yourself, I encourage you to reach out to other creatives and start a project together.
Putting Systems in Place
Long before I started the Animation Co-Lab live stream series, I had reached out to Stina Jones to collaborate on one of her illustrations. I hadn’t made progress on it for a while, until I built a system that cultivated a sustainable work environment. The plan was to live stream my work process on a regular schedule.
This system was held up by multiple pillars to ensure that I kept showing up. Deciding to announce to the world, that I would be live streaming, meant my audience was holding me accountable to follow through with it. Working on a collaborative project, during my streams, ensured I actually finished the project, as my collab partner was holding me accountable. And finally, producing consistent content that would help others learn from my experience, kept me motivated to keep going.
Once I completed my first collaboration with Lara Mascareño (read all about here) with my new system in place, I realised how much the structure helped in completing the project. The system helped me be consistent, stay motivated and produced a whole live stream series, which has now spawned into two other series’. I was finally in a place to revive my collab with Stina and pull through to the end.
If you find yourself starting and abandoning projects, try and put a system in place that is multi-functional. An example of a single-functional system would be “In order to have content for my Instagram feed, I will create art”. This system lacks inherent motivation, like wanting to create art to express your passion. It also lacks accountability. No one will push you to complete that goal, but yourself. Announcing your intentions online or bringing a collab partner onboard creates accountability to another party.
Make your art work for you
I am able to post my live streams on both Twitch and YouTube, stream it on IGTV and post the final outcome to my Instagram Feed. I am making the most out of a single combined effort. Creating content for more than one purpose adds to the feeling of accomplishment. It makes the work I create feel more valuable, as I can cover multiple avenues. Find a way to combine multiple accountability and purpose markers to create your system.
If you would like to watch me animate Stina’s illustration, head over to my YouTube Channel to watch the live stream replays. You’ll find playlists of past live streams on my channel as well, if you would like to watch more of my work process.
If you would like to collaborate with me on an animation, please drop me an email or leave a comment. I would be delighted to jump onto a new projects!
Don’t wait, collaborate!