Welcome back! Today we have a request from a Mr. Tim Gaffey. He suggested I talk about teamwork/collaborating with other creators; ie, writers and artists.
I personally love this topic, simply because it can make or break a project. In my time as a writer in the public’s eye I have collaborated with three artists and two other writers. I can be a very daunting task. Sometimes you can get lucky and work with someone that matches you perfectly. Other times, you can work with someone that is an absolute nightmare. Now keep in mind, that is no fault of their own, everyone creates and works in their own crazy way. Not to mention, creators have a very special way of thinking.
The Last #1 was such a success because of the abilities that Matt Ryan brought to the table. (Free Lunch Studios) I came to Matt with a very rough script written in 6 hours in a composition notebook. (you know the marble ones from 8th grade). He was able to take everything I had in my head and translate it to gorgeous sequential art. I was an amateur at the time, (still am an amateur) and I trusted Matt with my baby. The teamwork we had made The Last #1 a huge success. We were able to understand what each other was bringing to the table and we understood that the The Last #1 was most important.
The Dark Side:
Now, as much as I would love to say all collaborations go as amazingly as mine and Matt’s, sadly, they don’t. Too many times collaborations have destroyed a title, either making it worse than the initial idea, or causing it to never see the light of day. We have all seen it. Too many things can get in the way of the project. Different work processes, different goals, or even not understanding each others motives. You could have a collaborator that only looks at this project as a paycheck, and has no personal attachment to it. You could have someone who thinks certain things need to be changed. Overcoming a bad collaboration is as easy as understand each other from the beginning.
What can we do to overcome collaboration flaws:
I think the most important thing to help a collaboration go smoothly, is an understanding of each other and what you will bring to the table. I guarantee you, no matter what project you’re working on, someone will take a heavy personal investment in it, while the other will look at it as simply business. THAT’S OK! Again, before the work starts, make sure you understand where everyone is coming from. If I do a collaboration with a very talented artist and find out in the beginning that this is simply a paycheck for him/her, I will adjust accordingly.
Wrap it up:
I personally do not believe collaborations have to be a scary thing. Both parties can make the project a huge success, no matter what each may think of the project itself. If it is a paycheck, a dream, a way to get seen, or anything else, a collaboration SHOULD NOT ruin it. Understand, that you will work with a wide range of creators, some may think like you, and some you may not even know what they are thinking. All that matters is, the project!
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