Collaboration can be a scary thing. Not only are you vulnerably approaching someone else with the assumption that they might want to work with you, too, it's a thing that requires trust. And trust can be scary. But since we couldn't be bigger fans of working together, we wanted to share a few things we've found helpful about creating alongside someone else.
*note : if you're still looking for a creative pal, this might be a good read
1. Be familiar. This also requires being honest -- it's important to know each other's strengths and weaknesses when working so closely together. In order to avoid frustration, be upfront about the tasks you hate (talking on the phone), or areas that aren't your best (color theory). This is the beauty of collaboration -- creating something greater together than you could do on your own -- so make sure there's opportunity for everyone's strengths to shine.
2. When working with creative folks it's often much easier to share images than try to verbally communicate an abstract idea. Shared Pinterest boards are a super way to begin a project as it puts everyone on the same visual page. When we collaborate, we pin individually in the early planning periods and then cull through the images together during one of our first meetings, curating to a more polished representation of what we're aiming for.
3. Be over-specific. Each party will have assigned tasks; make those tasks more specific than feels necessary. This helps avoid the awkward and inconvenient "I thought you were going to…"
4. Deadlines are imperative. At the end of each weekly meeting we prioritize our tasks, setting specific dates and follow-up action points for each. This is a good time to review everyone's assignments to make sure no one missed anything. Oftentimes collaborations are on top of individual full-time pursuits, so be honest if a deadline seems irrational or hasty and the work might suffer.
5. Remember those 8th grade group science projects? The worst. Because inevitably, there was always one or two (or everyone else but you), kids in the group that would slack off and since texting wasn't a thing, they could avoid your every confrontation and your grade would suffer because of it… Don't be that kid. Respect each other. Time, creativity, ideas, effort -- be supportive of one another and don't half-ass it. When you collaborate on a regular basis it's understood that things come up and life can get messy -- it's important to have grace with each other in those times. We've done our fair share of blog-swapping and picking up extra emails because it's been a rough week for the other one. But especially when it's a one-time collaboration, don't cut corners. You're in this together.