Can collaboration be curated? How do artists merge disparate styles to conjure a confluence of ideas they wouldn’t have discovered on their own? Every month, It’s Nice That and Dropbox ask pairs of illustrators to create exclusive posters, together. In March, we went behind the scenes to show how two artists used Dropbox Paper to co-create the monthly poster for Nicer Tuesdays. Today, we want to share insights heard at these events, and reveal how the guest speakers collaborated on recent projects. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
The human relationship with tech is inspiring new art forms
Lucy Hardcastle is an interdisciplinary digital artist and creative director who incorporates physical, digital, and virtual elements to “challenge the boundaries between the digital, the real, the physical, and the virtual.” Her recent collaboration with Chanel ID involved an “interactive browser-based project that looked at the virtual and physical elements of fragrance.” Lucy says she wants to synthesize the worlds of craft and technology together:
“The development of devices that we use in our homes and in our pockets shouldn’t just be about providing efficiency. It should be based in our physicality and in the human condition, including our senses that go beyond sight, beyond just looking at a screen.”—Lucy Hardcastle
In collaboration with Google’s Creative Lab, Visual Editions has developed Editions at Play. The goal is to give storytellers the ability to make use of the dynamic properties of the web. And at January’s Nicer Tuesdays event, they shared their most recent digital book, Breathe, a ghost story that changes depending on your location, time, and even the weather, by using your smartphone’s geo-location technology.
Collaboration can begin even before the collaborators meet
When animator I Saw John First received his brief to create a music video for “Angels/Your Love” by Mr Jukes (AKA Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club), the only instructions were to make “a ritualistic, psychedelic thing.” So he sought out intersections of common interest as a starting point. “The project became a stylistic quest… I think the most important skill you can have as a director is how you get to know the people you’re working with,” he explained. His goal was to figure out a way to “spiritually link” to the musician. Soon, he began syncing his visuals to the movement of the music, matching colors to each beat of the kick and snare.“ If you’ve ever jammed with someone, you know when it’s clicking,” he added. “In the moment when you’re syncing, it’s amazing.”
Illustrator Marie Jacotey’s work often arises from unexpected juxtapositions of text and imagery. “I enjoy creating attention by bringing together two, three, four things that are not meant to be together.” So it was interesting to hear her describe her process for developing Morning Defeats, her collaboration with poet Rachel Allen. “I knew of Rachel Allen and I loved her work, but I didn’t know if she’d want to collaborate with me,” said Marie. In their year of working together, they decided to turn their collaboration into a book containing all of the poems Rachel had written based on drawings by Marie. Here’s the story of how that co-creation came together.
Twin sisters Marta and Eva Yarza were recently commissioned to create an identity for Oia, a Spanish municipality in Galicia. Though they knew they would need to deal with the many misconceptions about Spanish culture, Marta and Eva wanted to convey what made Oia unique by creating a distinct visual language that stood apart from typical tourist boards seen throughout the country. “We were worried about attaching a modern identity to such a traditional village,” they said, “but it was received well by the locals.”
Teams in sync can capture a photo shoot in only 30 minutes
Veronica Ditting, creative director of The Gentlewoman, gave the Nicer Tuesdays audience a glimpse behind the scenes of two photo shoots: a fashion piece and a portrait series with Kim Deal. For the latter, a three-person team worked quickly to capture the last 30 minutes of daylight of a rainy December day in London’s Fitzrovia. To prepare for a shoot, she researches whether a subject prefers a prop or something to make them comfortable in front of the camera. For Kim, the proper prop turned out to be an ordinary office chair. “It’s about connection between the photographer and sitter,” said Veronica. “If they don’t get on you can see it in a picture, but luckily they did.”
In the months ahead, we’ll be sharing more stories of collaboration from our next Nicer Tuesdays events, as well as in-depth interviews with the artists describing how they use their creative energy to make their magnificent work. Stay tuned!