Thoughts on collaboration . . .

In reading from Rick Rubin’s book The Creative Act: A Way of Being recently he writes about how collaborators work in cooperation with one another. He says, “Healthy tension in a collaboration is not uncommon. Friction allows the fire to come. As long as we’re not attached to having it be our way, we welcome this friction. It’s bringing us closer to the best version of the work at hand.”

As an artist it’s sometimes difficult for me to live in the space of “friction”. I can create negative self-talk when I am focused on pleasing others with my art and thus perceive “friction” as “criticism”. It isn’t always the case.

Rubin goes on to say, “When giving feedback, don’t make it personal. Always comment on the work itself and not the individual who made it. If a participant takes a critique personally, they tend to shut down… When on the receiving end of feedback,  our task is to set aside ego and work to fully understand the critique offered… It requires patience and diligence to get past the story of what you think you’re hearing and get close to understanding what’s actually being said.”

I think this is helpful to remember in all our dialogue with one another. It is through cooperation and collaboration that we find the highest outcome!

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