Sometimes I get bored and I get stuck. Who doesn’t? I can’t get beyond some rut in creativity that is stopping me from achieving the next filament, the next string, the next connected line. Collaboration changes all that. Creativity can’t survive in a vacuum, and it avoids becoming a selfish pursuit when it becomes social.
I’ve had the privilege of collaboration with Charles Strebor (visit his website) on numerous occasions. His works inspire me, and sometimes I see quiet words in his works that I think I can help give expression to. Sometimes, he finds puzzles in my works that need solving. It’s been a long standing and highly rewarding interaction with such a creative friend. A recent collaboration inspired me to write about it. Here are some of our joint efforts.
Charles’ own image, as I originally saw it, and later as I was shown the original:
The collaborative work that remains my all time favorite is Escher’s Children, otherwise known as Our World, among other titles. It began with a collaboration between Charles and another fellow, using white squares.
This inspired a series of my own (read it here) which also culminated in 9 white squares, also in a square mosaic. Charles was by that time creating various interactive 3D worlds, and turned this series of mine into the following:
The interactive world is here. Of course, it didn’t stop there. Charles shared the flat image with me. At the time I had just visited Liljevalchs art museum and discovered three paper maché children by Yvonne T Larsson and, being inspired by Escher’s relativity (I used to have this piece hanging on my wall), created the following:
I wasn’t ready to give up on it. Having made these children into separate image files, it was easy to move them around as I like. A series of them culminated in a gif:
Charles and I both made numerous abstracts and derivative works with this collaborative piece, and sometimes I look back on it and wonder whether there are not other clues still within it that need exploring. Whether finished or not, it is one piece that I often return to to renew my sense of creativity, and gain some inspiration. I suppose in ending this piece, the moral of the story is that collaboration = awesome. Things can and do often end up more than the sum of their parts.