For the past month, give or take, I've been attending a woodcut printing workshop with my best friend, Mari-Anne, at the Five in One Social Club shop on Broad Ave. What makes this workshop special is how Five in One will print the design using a steamroller in the street out front of their shop. Everyone's blocks started off as a 9ft x 4ft mdf board of endless possibilities.
We decided that something a little smaller might be more manageable for our first time, leaving our board at 6ft x 2.5ft instead of the full 4ft x 8ft. (Which is still huge if you ask me!) Over the course a month and a half, we met twice a week planning, drawing, and carving our block.
Working on a piece of art with someone takes a certain relationship. Make sure you ask yourself at least these four questions before jumping into a project:
- Do you trust/respect this person?
Simple and to the point, you can't expect to create something of real value without trust or respect in the equation. I chose Mari-Anne because she's been my best friend for 7+ years now and we've both got the right drive to make it happen.
- How much time are you and your creative counterpart willing to both put into the project?
This is a major pressure point for me, I want to work with someone who is on the same page as me so we put lots of planning into our design up front. I prefer an equal load kinda relationship, but this isn't to say that a 60/40 labor relationship won't work, just make sure you both agree before someone feels like they are doing more than they signed up for.
- Do your creative styles complement one another?
Even if one participant is the brains and the other the talent your concepting could be heavily affected by this comparability. From a creativeXcreative standpoint, it could result in two completely different styles in one piece or A single piece that looks as though created by one hand.
- How do you handle stress with others and vice versa?
I handle stress or looming deadlines with high anxiety and a real sense of urgency. This is something I know is hard to work with when paired with others which is why staying calm is key and you always have to understand that where you started might now be where you end. Embrace the unknown outcome that is working with others.
In the end, the point is to have fun with it and end up with someone you are both proud of. The best part of collaboration is getting to work with someone else. Freelancing can be very lonely and who doesn't like hanging out with their friends?
Of course, I would like to thank the lovely folks at of the Five in One Social Club, for putting on this fabulous event every year, Alice and Micheal! As well as my significant, Cole, for helping us make our deadline and being the best person a busy creative could ask for during this whole processes! I couldn't be happier with our finished piece and can't wait to watch the printing extravaganza this weekend!