The Art of Collab: Angela Miller X M!MCO
I'm still pinching myself.
If you are female and you live in Australia, I need not explain what MIMCO is.
It's been almost a year since they found me on Instagram and made the proposition. Of course I accepted and got to work with the palette supplied and with the flow media on yupo I have currently been using. I'd surely be lying if I didn't say there was a substantial amount of pressure on this project, and I want to let you in on a few ways around this potentially creativity-smothering energy. I can almost hear David Bowie and Freddie Mercury singing about it.
Regardless of the situation you might be in, the way to keep working while minimising the stress from pressure is as follows:
1. MAINTAIN THOUGHTS OF VALIDATION. There is absolutely something inside you that wants to unfurl. In your deepest, wildest parts you know this! And pressure-born stress will only disable or misconstrue the unfurling. You have been chosen for this task because somebody has recognised something about your work. Always keep it at the forefront of your thinking. You are also about to expand in ways you can't imagine and learn empowering new things about yourself. Posture yourself for adventure and growth! Be excited for the unknown and maybe there won't be so much room for fear of it. There may be thoughts of panic ensuing from the fear of not measuring up to the client's perceived expectation, constantly questioning if this or that is what the client will prefer. If you are an idealist like me, this can certainly mess with your head. My way around these debilitating obstacles is to:
2. FOCUS ON QUANTITY. It's the answer to just about every problem in creativity. In quantity we avoid becoming precious about one piece. We have a wide horizon of possibility and experimentation. We can work in a way which is most conducive to our creative energy. We all know that nothing happens in a vacuum and plenty happens in process. Just start making a pile! Slowly the unknown becomes a real idea taking promising shape, we gain momentum and find we aren't pushing any more, but are rather being pulled along. When I began the Mimco project I made about 8 A3 sized paintings using the colour palette provided, from which I presented 5 for the first round of feedback. I was given suggestions based on one image style they liked most and also requested the dominant colour to be changed. I then made another 6 pieces from which 2 were selected by Mimco's design team and a repeating pattern was created. It’s easy to work this way when one’s surface is paper, more difficult when the substrate is more expensive, such as large canvas. Still, I always aim for at least two when working on intuitive abstract commissions. The client has a variety from which to choose and the process becomes much more enriching for me, simply by focusing on quantity. But to allow this to happen:
3. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. You definitely need time for brewing and stewing. Start straight away and fill the vacuum. Ideas will flow in which you definitely won’t consider unless you have already engaged in process. Don’t wait to be “in the right headspace”. Just start your pile. If your first attempts are no good it really doesn’t matter. You’ve started your pile and the better work will come.
I hope this empowers you in some way.
I always appreciate your comments below!
Love ange x