How to be a Creative Collaborative

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Styling Angelique Broussard for a photoshoot with photographer Anjelica Martinez-Luten and makeup/hair artist Mandie Mutchie

I have been working in a collaborative industry since I was 12 years old. Despite having a little more “life” happen to me in these past eight years, I would definitely not be the person I am without all of those people that I created with along the way. The skills, techniques, and opinions I have now would be entirely different.

In those eight years, I got a job at Michaels craft store. That opened the fine art world to me. I met so many talented people with skills in knitwear, watercolor and acrylic painting, scrapbooking, woodwork, cake decorating, the list goes on. One girl that I really clicked with is named Ellie Lauren. She is a watercolor and mixed media artist, and her work has so much life!

I felt this post was bubbling in my head for a while, and it is important to really consider what it takes to be a valuable collaborative. This is how to get the best work when creating with many artists:

  • Be open!
    • This may seem so obvious, but when you are on set your ideas are very important to you. All of the artists have their own vision on what the final product of the project is going to be. Allow suggestions and compromise; sometimes two different ideas make the best image.
  • Come prepared.
    • Get in contact with your team before the project date. Start a group chat and create moodboards. Pinterest is a great tool for moodboards because it allows you to share the board with your partners. The idea for the shoot below came together in our group chat on Instagram. Don’t forget essential items to a shoot either, it will save a lot of panic and time. Great things come from communication.
  • Be spontaneous.
    • When you are on set, don’t hold back. In styling terms, if you see clothing that is hanging wrong on a model or needs to be adjusted, don’t let it sit there. Get into the scene and nitpick because a quality image depends on it. From a modeling standpoint, but vocal. Bring up posing ideas, ask the photographer what they are initially looking for, and don’t take yourself to seriously.
  • Be smart enough to let go.
    • If a concept is stumping you or you just can’t come up with any ideas for it, be honest. I have had to pass styling jobs onto my friends because the photoshoot’s concept just didn’t click with me. My friends did an amazing job with ideas that I would never think of. Devote yourself to the finished product, even if it may not directly involve you. People know in photos if you were not feeling it, so don’t let them catch you.

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      Modeling on set. Photographer: Sun Woo Stylist: Yong Kim Makeup and Hair: Dana Akashi

  • Have fun.
    • Seriously, if you are grumpy on set or in a bad mood it brings the entire team down. Excuse yourself to go take a walk, get some coffee, something to brighten your spirits. We all have down days, but leave any negativity at the door. Moods of the artists reflect in the final product, and we all came here to produce astounding work. You are all their for the same purpose, so be happy for what’s to come.

Always do something you love. It feels your soul and feeds your mind. Have a great day!

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