The creative process behind successful collaborations
Collaboration is the next big thing of our generation. Thanks to Twitter & Facebook people have a channel in which they can reach a massive amount of like minds in a short period of time. It's obvious to assume that one will want to work with another that has similar interests, however we need to understand WHAT collaboration is & how it affects the creation process to make it work.
Collaboration is when two or more parties come together to realize shared goals. Keyword SHARED goals. That means there needs to be a SPECIFIC objective between both parties. If you do not establish what the goal is it simply boils down to "I love your brand ! How can I get my name on your next project !". Is this fair to both parties ? No. There isn't a common interest so it will be apparent that one side is leeching off of the others momentum.
There are a few things often overlooked that we should consider before approaching others about collaborating. We must take steps to make the people we want to work with as comfortable as possible with our initial vision, when working towards collectively creating a new one.
Look for similarities between the both of you
The point of doing this is to establish common ground between you and the potential collaborator. When you search for common ground, understanding your similarities can open up doors to new exciting ideas based on the strengths of both parties. It can also help you compensate for weaknesses that you may have as individuals, which will make you stronger as a team.
Establish a common goal.
The common goal is the most important part of a collaboration. Your goal should have a lil more depth than merely trying to be seen. Consumers aren't stupid, they easily pick up on something as shallow as a collab done merely to "look cool". Attention whores never win. The collabs that do succeed however is the ones that have not only a common theme & goal, but a clear representation of the strengths of both parties who worked on the project. Take "Watch The Throne" for example. Jay-Z & Kanye West reached out to each other to collaborate on an album that combines Kanye's flamboyant artistry and Jay-Z deep (albeit subliminal) lyrics to establish a theme of Black Excellence.That was the goal and it is apparent on every track. Now let's look at a collab with little substance other than brand/name recognition : Busta Rhymes & DMX on "Otis" *crickets* need I say more ?
Please be sure to leave your thoughts on what it takes to establish a successful collab in the comments. Please ? Thank you ! :-)