Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Art Experiment - Segment Collaboration with Sunshine Vekas - Part 1 - Establish Your System

For the past month, I have been doing an "Art Experiment." A collaborative art project which has made me question how I work, and work with others.

In my blog post, The Psychology of Collaboration, I rant about my prior collaboration, and a list of my thoughts while even starting this collaborative art project with artist, Sunshine Vekas, who attends my sculpture class as an aide.

The project turned up the volume on my inner critic to almost a deafening tone.
I have found a way to turn the volume down - writing.

Now that we are a month into the process, I am ready to share our collaboration so that you can get a glimpse into the process.

This will be a multi-part blogging adventure, so I hope to hook you in so that you can experience it with me. Here we go...

Segment Collaboration - Part 1 - Establish Your System

Every artist has a different way of working.

Sketching; working intuitively; following a pattern; research; find objects; read books; listen to your dreams; make a schedule; document with photographs; critique your work... and on

Each of these (and more) establish a way of making the art you do.

So, if you decide to collaborate with another artist, how do you do it?

You have to establish your own system.

Here is the current system that has been defined (and modified along the way) to make this artistic collaboration work.

These are my rules, and ways of working, so Sunshine will have a whole different way of seeing this process. But the skeleton of the system is the same.

Segment Collaboration
  1. Take a piece of art or material that we believe has potential to become something more.
  2. Gather any photographs or documents on the original piece, if available.
  3. Exchange pieces with partner. You have two weeks to work on it.
  4. Release control of the process of your piece.
  5. Photograph your partner's piece and think about it.
  6. Acknowledge insecurities, doubts and inner critic's rants as you think about the piece. - IMPORTANT step for ME!
  7. Gather supplies and get to work.
  8. Document process via photographs or video.
  9. Again acknowledge inner critic and write about it to get it out.
  10. Establish a naming system to label pieces as they are expanded upon.
  11. Photograph piece before exchange.
  12. Email pictures to partner (optional).
  13. In two weeks, exchange pieces with partner and discuss process.
  14. Chose to work on your piece again, or start another piece for exchange.
  15. Repeat! Ta da! Collaborative art piece!
That is the system we developed as this art experiment continues.

As a teaser and thank you for reading this far, here is a photograph of Sunshine Vekas' SC #5c before I started my modifications.

Segment Collaboration SC #5c © 2009-2010 Sunshine Vekas

Want to see more? Come back next time for Part 2!

Your Turn:
Do you develop systems to make your work? Are you rigid (not that it's a bad thing!) and have sketch, plan, follow plan, finish or do you work more organically? Have you done a similar collaboration? I would love to hear more about your artistic process!

Art making is a journey, share yours with me! ~ Jaime Lyerly

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