My partner, David, and I have been making it together for a long time now. What we co-create is energy-charged images, but it’s the process rather than the product that I want to explore in this piece. By combining our creative efforts we unlock a new level of transformative power. I want to share a bit about how that works in our artistic adventures and how it extends to the challenge we face collectively to make our world new.
There is actually a third partner in our collaboration—the Earth, in the form of the photographs that are the foundation of our artwork. What we create are photo-collages. We take pieces of our Nature photos and re-assemble them using sacred geometries. We make mandalas and other styles of images, all with an underlying symmetry. Everything in our work comes from Mother Nature. Beyond relating to her pictorially, we commune with the spirit of the planet as we design our images, which often feature the globe.
The human side of making art together is an exciting, sometimes explosive and often ecstatic event. How do two people with independent ideas cooperate in such an essentially creative project? It begins with an originating impulse—we may be creating a piece for a specific healing purpose, or creating 12 new images for each year’s calendar. The purpose guides the initial visioning process. Having a clear, shared purpose is one key to co-creativity.
With the purpose in mind, we begin: Which Earth-element should we use to convey the given intention, what geometry would serve? Sometimes one of us leads that enquiry, sometimes we do it together. But before we decide, both of us come to agreement on the choices. Yes, we can both feel that a purple water lily is the right element to convey the sense of serenity we are looking for.
Maybe I want to use one view of the lily for the center of the image, but David, who is the photo-maestro, knows that another view will be sharper. We may go back and forth for a while, but once I really see his point, I yield. What I am envisioning will be even better realized by using his idea. We come up with a draft of the central image, and I get an intuition about just which foliage has the color and patterning that would make the best border. As I am the color specialist, David is willing to give it a try. And so it goes.
We try things, discovering together what feels-looks the best until we both come to rest. This image we have made together is greater that the sum of its individual elements and greater than what would have come from our individual visions. Because of the co-creative process that has birthed it, the piece of art has become a vessel that can hold “seedsongs”. This is our word for the vibrational energies that transform this visual image into a tool for healing and uplift. As Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message”. This image that is the product of our co-creativity with each other and with Nature delivers the message of collaboration and synergy. The sacred intention that was the origin of the image shines through the medium of Earth’s beauty.
Are there any secrets to fruitfully making it together? Here are the ones that I’ve uncovered:
- Clear Purpose—this is the intention that guides the rest of the process. It is the seed-vision that draws each partner past “me-mind” into the “us-mind” that guides the co-creation process.
- Heartfelt Respect—co-creation is strictly a peer-to-peer event. Each person is the carrier of something special. Respect, felt from the heart, generates a field of trust that fosters the creative process. Inevitably, there are disagreements, but if the worth of each person is acknowledged, the differing opinions can be worked out.
- Genuine Consensus—no creation is complete unless the partners feel totally satisfied with it. There is no overriding of one’s will by the other’s will. Everything we make together is ours, and only emerges when “yes” comes from all. Making a genuine commitment to this level of consensus has a transformative effect on the participants.
If I can embrace this co-creative process, anyone can. I am a very earthy double Taurean creature who wants to do things my way. Luckily, my Aquarian moon leads me to feel cosmically and globally as well. I know in my heart that we are all in this together. Collaboration is not just a satisfying way to work, it is a technology of change based on an awareness of our interdependence and essential unity.
Linking our creative powers is how we are going to shift collectively into a bright future. Whatever your realm of creativity–be it focused on the home, the service domain, or business–find people to collaborate with. Enter deeply into the messy and wonderful process of co-creating and enjoy the ride. Each of us holds a piece of the puzzle to making our world sustainable and peaceful. Engage with others in the dance of synergy and be amazed by the abundance and beauty that emerges.