If you’re a professional creative, chances are you’ve collaborated at least once or twice with fellow creatives in your work. Whether you’ve consulted, brainstormed, remixed or co-created, combining your artistic powers with another creative can be rewarding and amazingly fun.
But for many creative professionals, collaboration often means working a step removed from your fellow creators. You might be stepping into a work in progress, taking the reins from someone else to contribute your skills to a project, or laying a strong foundation for one of your peers to finish up. Often, creative professionals will do their work collaboratively without ever meeting their collaborators in person!
On this year’s International Creativity Day, we’re here to give a voice to quiet collaboration — secret messages that creative collaborators sometimes hide in their shared work for each other to find. These delightful nods between collaborators remind us that we’re never truly on our own when we’re creating, no matter how much it seems we’re flying solo.
Keep reading for a peak into the hidden world of quiet collaboration and to celebrate creative work this International Creativity Day.
Quiet collaboration is all about feeling seen
If you’re a creative who’s lucky enough to do what you love for a living, chances are you’ve worked on a few big projects in your time. And whether you’re coding, painting or 3D animating, pulling together a big project often entails working with others, both in your workplace and beyond.
Quiet collaboration is what we call working on a project with another creative without ever getting the chance to meet or talk with them. And we think it deserves a special shoutout this International Creativity Day!
For many creatives in professional roles, collaborative moments are one of the few times you’re truly ‘seen’ in your creative work. And unlike the regular scrutiny from your manager, or edit requests from a client, collaborating means handing off your hard work to someone in the same shoes as you, who understands what it’s like to pour their passion into work.
It’s a rare look into how somebody works, what their creative skills and struggles are and what inspires them to create. It’s a conversation where you learn so much about another person, even without sharing a single word.
Digital artist @minh_myler says “To me, collaboration is about being able to build ideas together and be open to change and adapt.”
@bratpck advises creatives who collaborate to “Work with artists whose strengths complement yours and that you can learn from. If you’re not great at a particular technique, find someone who is.”
We couldn’t agree more. We also think that collaboration is always a good chance for you to learn and grow as an artist by being vulnerable and open to ideas.
Secret messages make quiet collaboration fun!
As we mentioned, quiet collaboration can often feel like a bit of an isolating process. It can be difficult to work with another creative on a project without having a single conversation with them, but it’s often the reality for many creative professionals.
But, creatives — being the clever and crafty people they are — find ways to break through the silence and put a bit of heart back into the collaborative workflow. Secret notes, hidden compliments and covert commiseration — all carefully placed for each other’s eyes only.
So whether you’re building code or adding a layer for a big design project, coming across a small note like this is sure to put a smile on your face and remind you that another dedicated creative professional is on the other side of the process.
And whether it’s a little joke, a heartfelt compliment or some artistic ‘real talk’, we just love this kind of secret if-you-know-you-know collaboration!
Have you ever left a secret note or received a hidden message from a creative collaborator? Comment your stories on our International Creativity and Innovation Day post @Wacomanz this April 21st. We’d love to hear from you!
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Just as with any creative work, you need the right tools for the job to be the best collaborator you can be.
To upgrade your creative suite for peak collaboration, check out our April Monthly Offer for up to 45% off select products. Find out more here.
Be sure to follow @wacomanz for more creative collaboration stories and the latest deals on premium creative tech.