We are gearing up for our annual Collaboration for Designers group study that starts on Monday August 12th in the Textile Design Lab, and can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with this fabulous guest post by Dari Design Studio! It is an honor to welcome sisters Dariela and Dariana Cruz back to the blog to share more of their wonderful insights (check out their previous tutorial on how to photograph your surface pattern designs here.)
Tips to growing your business through creative connections
Do these situations sound familiar to you? Have you ever had a great idea for a new project but didn’t follow through because you felt the work would require help and you didn’t have a partner to work with? Maybe you already realize the benefits of collaborating and are wanting to connect with other creatives but don’t know how to get started? Are you thinking that other creatives won’t be interested in connecting with you, due to fears of competition and the whole crowded marketplace environment?
If I were to tell you that you could grow your business by collaborating with other creatives, would you believe me? But, it’s true! And working alongside other creatives and artists can be an extremely satisfying way to grow your business as well as your personal life. After all, isn’t growth the ultimate goal for all of life?
Today more than ever collaborations can help us grow personally and professionally. It’s important to see our creative peers as potential partners because as we form alliances, we find strength in numbers. Technology makes it even easier because now we can collaborate with others remotely without having to be in the same city.
Among many of the benefits of collaborations these are my favorites:
• Interacting and maintaining relationships always bring an enormous potential for growth.
• Our personalities, likes, dislikes, roles, aptitudes, virtues and faults come to the surface easier than when we work alone. This allows us to know ourselves better and self awareness always leads us to becoming a better person, because we make more assertive decisions, more aligned with who we are.
• Creativity increases. Not only is there more creativity available but also ideas feed from each other’s processes and new creativity sparks in ways that would be impossible if there was only one person.
• We become more effective as a whole. We get better results yet each collaborator works less than normal.
• There is extra value that comes from giving and receiving what the other doesn’t have. There is always something to gain and something to give – resources, followers, knowledge, techniques, new systems, new methods, traveling, and so on.
How to find someone to collaborate with
• Build your tribe, most likely your future partner will come from your tribe or will show up from seeing the passion you show in what you do.
• Go as far as you can with your project or idea while you search for the perfect partner to collaborate with. For the time being get everything ready. Put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t you want to see someone ready and with his/her idea together? Have a website, a diagram, map a draft, a written description, a sketch, a Pinterest board. Show you are serious about it and that your intentions are truthful. The important thing here is that you aren’t waiting for a partner to come and do all the work, there is a clear difference between collaborating and just hiring someone’s services.
• Have a vision of the person you would like to work with based on qualities. When you envision your partner, make sure you are focusing on qualities, instead of external specifics. As you build your vision, listen to your intuition here. Say the words and see how they ring inside. Qualities sound like this: Self starter, responsible, humorous, easy going energy, bold, and so on. Stay alert for qualities you haven’t developed yet, that way there will be a more complete web between you.
• Start drafting an agreement: Think through a structure for the relationship and the project. What will the roles be, how many hours of work, what is expected regarding ways to communicate. The agreement will help you filter through candidates and can work as a guide to help you decide. However, even though agreements are meant to guide us, we must be flexible and adjust our ways as we see pertinent.
• Be active in Masterminds and Facebook groups that aren’t your own. Here is where you can not only find your potential connection to collaborate with but also a group of people that can watch the project come along and support it from the start.
• Don’t be afraid of approaching someone. Relationships take time, and sometimes we don’t have that time. Many collaborations just start based on how in sync people feel about the same project, once involved in the project the relationship grows from there. Remember if someone says “no” that just means “no, right now” or take it as a detour sign, there is a better fitting collaboration somewhere else.
• Send a clear message about what you are looking for. Post it on your website or in a relevant Facebook group. Put the message out there and see what comes back!
Once collaborating keep this in mind:
Collaborating can sometimes show up as a rocky road. That isn’t a bad thing. That is just the clue to know it is time to shift perspectives and grow.
To me there are 2 key aspects of collaboration that need to be in place:
1. All members agree on the main mission of the whole and welcome different ways and personalities to get there. The idiosyncrasy and the culture of the collaboration is what makes it remarkable and noteworthy.
2. All members establish civilized, creative and proven ways to transcend disagreements.
Given those essentials there are some tips than can help along the way:
• Choose your battles. Know as well as possible your potential deal breakers.
• Be crystal clear on the role you are performing.
• Refresh your memory regularly on the mission, goals and objectives. That keeps you inspired and on point in your role.
• Focus more on executing than planning.
• Infuse the collaboration with your personal life. Don’t try to separate everything. In the end, we are humans and we connect better when we allow people to see our authentic human side.
• Stay fun and creative!
About Dari Design Studio
Venezuelan born artists and sisters, Dariela and Dariana Cruz of Dari Design Studio are on a mission to infuse your life with creativity, a sense of style, and bold vibrant designs. Currently residing in California, they work together virtually. Dariela lives in San Diego and has had an interest in design from an early age. Her sister, Dariana, lives in Los Angeles and came to love design after years of working in the industry. Together the duo love to create pattern designs and uplifting illustrations and photographs. Their modernly eclectic portfolio blends certainty with experimentation, multicultural traditions with modern trends, and hand painted art with digital.