Gary Powell on collaboration

In creative commons, creativity by Michael Tiemann

Gary Powell hits the nail on this head with his post Sharing your creative process.  How many times have we been told, or sold, on the idea that creativity comes only from within?  Or that creativity is like some kind of artistic virginity, something that can never be restored to its purest and most wonderful state if co-mingled with the works of others.  I don’t defend those who try to create by committee.  And if a movie gives title credit to “Head of Story”, I’d rather know in advance so I can avoid it.  But in my experience, knowing how people work helps me work better with them, and helps them work better with me.

A particularly excellent example of this is the collaboration story of Elephant’s Dream.  In the DVD extras, the artists and producers talk about what it was like when the project began: everybody trying to do everything so as not to show any particular weaknesses.  But as things cracked under enormous time and creative pressure, the collaborators became more honest with each other, and suddenly they all discovered how to best fit together.  The courage to share helps create new levels of creativity and productivity.

I honor those who are willing to give a little (at some personal cost) to gain a lot more, for all of us.