Being a creative introvert, I find myself internally struggling with what my ambitions want to do vs. what my mind wants to do. In short, I want to collaborate with people, but my mind doesn’t always agree.
Somewhere between middle school and college I did a complete 180 and became extremely introverted. It hasn’t been all that bad because in the comfort of my own home I’ve kept from being lonely by experimenting with new art mediums.
But then I realized how cool it would be to introduce someone else’s perspective into my art process. I wanted to connect with people and collaborate, but when I made the attempts, they were only half-hearted. I would post on facebook, or wherever, and let the world know that I was looking for others interested in what I was doing, or wanted to do. I had the same people each time letting me know that, yes, they would love to create a zine, or yes they’d love to create a fiction piece together.
Sometimes the attempts at starting a new project would stop there because, being an introvert, I wasn’t exactly in to meeting up with people in person. There was some type of pressure about this next step that I could never bypass, I could only ever get to it no matter what I was trying to do.
You know what I figured out? Start something that is able to be collaborated with online. Google docs, to me, is the most wonderful invention. I keep all of my writings on there and am constantly sharing them with my closest friends (because god knows my work can rarely go past that level of comfortability) and for school projects I’m always suggesting to make that powerpoint via google docs because we can all contribute, at the same time, while seeing the changes in real time.
Obviously collaborating on a painting can’t be done online. (Maybe start a painting and then make up some silly excuse to the person you want to collabo with about why you can’t hang out, but offer to drop it off before you go to that “dentist appointment.”) If you want to start a zine, have everyone post their work into one google docs. Use the comment selection or the messaging option to communicate while putting together the layout.
I’ve tried starting a zine and I’ve gotten one friend to send me his work, but nothing happened after that. And then I realized that it was totally my fault- no one is going to work harder than me at something that I want to do. Sometimes you need to take all initiative and do the damn thing yourself. Yes, people may be into collaborating with you, but maybe they only like the idea of their work having a stage, so that just means you need to present that stage for them because they clearly aren’t going to do it- but what else did you expect?
So, get out there (on the web), email people about project proposals, and get their work into that google doc. Start the project yourself and show them you have the initiative to do it, and they will follow. There’s almost always a way to get around the barricades your brain puts up.