How I collaborate

Organic collaboration is one of the things that inspires me the most. However, most of my collaborations occur online. They run through long threads of emails, texts, bulk file sharing—and the occasional selfie. I’ve been making music for about 10 years now, and over the last couple of years, I’ve taken up photography. I’m extremely passionate about both.

Photo from 823 exhibition

Through both mediums I’ve been able to travel around the world and meet some amazing creative people along the way. Last week, it seemed like everything that I’ve been working hard for and striving towards all came together harmoniously. All IRL might I add…

I had the chance to fly my favorite longtime collaborators and friends out to my hometown to experience something special and partake in my photo exhibition entitled ‘823.’

Photos from 823 exhibition

My ‘823’ project started in September 2016. I was on my honeymoon with my beautiful wife, and while we were in Korea, she surprised me with my first 35mm film camera. She knew I always wanted to experiment in film photography. Since that moment I’ve never gone a day without shooting film. The process and slow release creative experience from film is truly fascinating and highly addictive. Every time I used my camera, it reminded me of how much I love my wife. Hence the meaning behind 823—it’s the numerical representation of the phrase Thinking Of You.

"Thinking Of You" neon sign from 823 exhibition

It stands for the mindfulness, thoughtful, and adoring consideration of that special someone who inspires you—the person or people that keep pushing you forward creatively. In this case it’s always my wife, my family, and close friends and collaborators that I seem to constantly gravitate towards.

I could write for days about what bringing together my musical collaborations and photographic work via a public gallery setting in one week means to me. But I’ll let the video summarize that for you. What I can say, though, is that being able to see my own online collaborations and creative endeavors materialize before my eyes into an “in real life” moment was so special for me. Being able to celebrate other people’s creativity this way inspires me to keep feeding off others and providing support. It can be something as simple as sharing files online, or sharing moments and experiences face to face. This is why we create. To connect.

Photo of Ta-ku
Ta-ku—aka Reggie Mathews—is an in-demand producer; remixer to the likes of Flume, Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino and Chet Faker; and co-founder of a swathe of creative collaborations including a fashion label, creative agency, design community, and a Perth barbershop.

Learn more about how Paper can make your ideas better and brighter