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Benefiting from Collaborations in Vector Art

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In this article, I discuss the benefits and different forms of collaboration out there. Artists give their advice based on past experience and I'll show you examples of collaborations within the vector art community. This is a great way to build lasting friendships with fellow artists, boost your workflow, enhance your skills, and rocket your creative output.

Introduction

Within the vector art community, collaborating is not an uncommon scenario. Artists regularly collaborate with each other on a variety of levels including and not limited to:

  • A stock artist will pose specifically for a theme/project to be rendered.
  • A sketch artist will provide a sketch reference to be rendered.
  • An artist will work on a piece and give it to another to add their input.
  • An artist will make available an unfinished piece of work for others to reinterpret, often referred to as a remix.
  • A group of artists (2+) will add their work to a file and pass it onto another artist to add their portion, who will then pass it to another, sometimes referred to as "Photoshop tennis."
  • A group of artists will create individual pieces which follow the same set theme, often seen in art collectives.
  • In this article I'm going to discuss the benefits of collaboration and see what other artists feel about their past collaboration experience and any advice they may have.

The Benefits to Collaborating

There are many different benefits to taking part in a collaboration. Let's take a look at a handful of the benefits I've found. I'm also curious to here your experiences as well. What have you gained from collaborating with another artist(s)?

Learning New Workflows and Processes

It can help you understand other artists' workflows. How they construct their files and what processes they go through to create certain effects. Of course this is only if you exchange source files within the collaboration.

Along with learning workflows; the new arsenal of processes you could potentially learn could add an extra oomph to your future work. Maybe your collaboration has inspired you in another direction and given you the confidence to try out new styles and genres.

Tapping into New Audiences

It can help you gain exposure with a new audience. At the end of a collaboration you both may want to display your work online. It's an unwritten rule that you credit all parties involved in the collaboration and by doing so, they are presenting their work with yours to an audience you may not have exposure in. This can help drive traffic to you for others to find out more about you and your work.

Developing Your Competitive Edge

Collaboration can often give you a competitive edge. It can drive you to make sure your contribution is a higher quality to what you would usually produce. Given the potential to a new audience, it might motivate you to step your game up.

Building Lasting Friendships

On more personal projects, you could form a friendship with another artist who works in the same medium as you do. In the vector art community it's always good to be able to talk to another artist who is just as passionate as you are in your medium of choice. On a personal level, I have gained many lasting friendships due to collaborating in vector.


Artists on Collaboration

I approached a variety of vector artists with collaboration experience and asked them questions based on a piece they collaborated on. Below are their responses and some great examples of collaboration in vector.


Vibrant Planet Collab by Giorgos Vasiliadis and Laura Ebbenhouse aka Giorgos93 and PronouncedYou

Q & A with Giorgos Vasiliadis

Q Did you gain from your collaboration experience?

I wasn't so experienced when this collaboration was made, so I didn't know how other artists work. And when you collaborate with them, you find out that they're not so different from you. I also learnt a lot of stuff: We had a long talk with Laura, about the composition of the picture and through these discussions opinions are exchanged, you give and receive tips without realizing it and you become better!

Q How did you go about collaborating?

When I stumbled across Laura's gallery on deviantART I found a connection between our styles. So I thought that if we combined our talents something good would come out. I didn't hesitate to contact her and find out if she was interested.

Q What advice do you havefor others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

Find a clever concept first before you invite an artist. If you present an idea, your invitation will sound more serious.

Q & A with Laura Ebbenhouse

Q How did you go about collaborating?

It started with an idea and I made a background, then he sent me individual elements to add to his style. I then added my own style and sent the file to him to add back. We kept going back and forth until we were both satisfied with the end product. It strengthened our friendship and it's nice to see people's reactions to it! We were really happy with the end result.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

I would say to others that they shouldn't immediately shoot down the other's idea before seeing what it would look like. Play around with it until you both can reach a compromise. And it's awesome to have good communication. Giorgoes and I could chat on MSN, which made it so much easier to collaborate!


STM? Collab by Kristy Anne Ligones & Quix Maiquez aka K-A-D-L & Quiccs

Q & A with Kristy Anne Ligones told us:

Q What did you gain from your collaboration experience?

Most importantly getting to know another creative individual, and knowing that there are people interested in collaborating with you is really awesome. From having different styles or mediums, I can have fun by experimenting with my own style and with the others that are much different from mine.

Q How did you go about collaborating?

I'm just usually open to people who would ask me for a collaboration, I'm all ears to the creative individual who would ask me for it. After hearing what the other artist's ideas are, I put or add some of mine to it and discuss later on what are we trying to aim for on the collaborative project.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

Listen to each other and be open to any ideas. If you don't like what he or she came up with, you can just say something about it. Discuss why you disagree, don't just act like you're ok with it, just because you're afraid to step on someone's ego. Be patient with someone you're collaborating with, unless he or she is not doing anything at all.


AFROBABY Collab by Christian San Jose & Celina de Guzman aka Csjwcr and Celdee

Q & A with Christian San Jose

Q What did you gain from your collaboration experience?

I always love to collaborate with other artists, and every time I do I learn from it. You'll get to know how other artists' minds work, their thought and design process. You'll also learn how to effectively mix in and complement your style with theirs. With that, you'll learn new techniques that you can apply on your own work in the future.

Q How did you go about collaborating?

Seeking out artists that I think I can work well with, considering if their styles can blend in with mine. Sometimes though I won't plan much beforehand, just let the artist do what they do best and create with them on the fly, which makes for some very interesting results.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

Collaboration is about having fun working with others, as much as creating a beautiful piece by two or more people. So just enjoy!


Ketika.CapCay.Bertasbih by Samuel Sinaga, Jimmy Balia, Rie Rie and Dika Toolkit aka TFDC, Phig, TraceLandVectorie03 and Toolkit04

Q & A with Samuel Sinaga

Q What did you gain from your collaboration experience?

A whole new vision of style, lots of experience and a jolly good time.

Q How did you go about collaborating?

Well, the hardest part would be to 'blend' in to a new environment, its kinda like a blind date, you never know what to expect next, and thats the exciting part.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

Don't main the stream, turn around and fight!

Q & A with Rie Rie

Q What did you gain from your collaboration experience?

I was absolutely honored to be invited into a collaboration. It helps sharpen your senses and skills when you enter one and each one you learn more.

Q How did you go about collaborating?

I approach other artists to collaborate and I've had artists approaching me. Then when I collaborate, I try my best to make sure the result is of the best I can do.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

I would say knowing your weaknesses. If you already know about it, don't put it on the collaboration artwork.
If you have your own unique style, keep a hold of it and put it in the collaboration so your work shines out. This is what I have done in past collaborations.


Tegan and Sara Collab by Noa K & Wino S Kadir aka Noapc & WeKnow

Q & A withWino S Kadir

Q What did you gain from your collaboration experience?

Everlasting friendship, I've discovered a great friend in Noa.

Q How did you go about collaborating?

It was a funny time, we chatted on MSN and then Noa asked me to do a collaboration. I was very shy and not confident, but she gave me the confidence to collaborate.

Noa introduced me to Tegan & Sara song. Based on this, we got a reference photo of them and used it as the base for our artwork. We did each part separately, I did the left, Noa did the right. We modified our work to make it look as if it was a similar style as each others to make the final piece look more refined.

Q What advice do you give others who wish to take part in a vector collaboration?

Know your partner, for what software they use, mood, their knowledge and capability to execute the vector task. Keep telling each other what is good and what is not good, keep complementing, keep support as the spirit for each other.


Conclusion

Collaborating can bring many benefits to an artist, especially in the vector field. There are so many styles and artists out there with various levels of experience collaborating.

DeviantART set up a "groups" platform last year and this has helped make entering into a collaboration easier. There are many groups being created for the sole purpose of collaborating. If you're a member of deviantART, why not check out the following groups, which regularly focus on collaborating.

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