Clarity of Purpose & The Ability to Listen: Part 2
At the start of any collaboration in art the purpose of the collaboration should be discussed so it’s clear why you are collaborating. Discussion is a crucial tool but listening may even be more important. One of the big issues in any relationship is the inability of people to listen well. The skill of listening and its accompanying skill, patience, must be applied to the collaborative process. When your partner has a point of view that may differ from yours, be fully engaged and listen to their position. Make note of where exactly you may differ and than check yourself to see if it’s a valid disagreement, bias or misunderstanding.
Discuss as fully as possible at the outset what the purpose of the project is. It’s at that point you may see the lack of clarity in the project. That’s when it’s important to ask questions of each other, listening carefully to see if you are both on the same page.
There were some instances while working on The Four Seasons mini series, where we had differing views on the color palette choices. At that point, we would each offer our thoughts, but we would always listen carefully to each other’s points.
Then, we tried each vision and we took the time to look at which we thought was a more effective example for the stated purpose. We listened patiently and with openness to each other’s position. Out of that came the first image in the series — Pastorale–Summer, which you see in the above image. We always kept in mind that this is a collaboration not a competition. To collaborate is to work together on an activity. To compete is to strive to win by defeating or establishing superiority. Many times competition is inserted in a collaboration and it can be the undoing of that collaboration.
Coming: Part 3 – Seeing It Through