17 – The Magic of Collaboration


Collaboration is a tricky thing but the more you collaborate the bigger the rewards.

In today’s podcast I tell the story of Jason Webley who with the help of a group of his musician friends sold out an 800 seat theatre and raised $11,111 in two hours on Kickstarter. Collaboration is a tricky thing but when it works it’s magic. 

When you first start out you do pretty much everything on your own. You play the guitar by yourself to learn or write songs. You draw alone. You cook yourself increasingly more awesome meals. 

You can of course continue to keep your projects just for your self. Although if you really want to grow in your skills there will come a time when you’ll need to reach out to others to help create your thing. It could be needing musicians to help you flesh out your sound for a gig or a recording. You may need help turning your drawings into an animation or a printed book. What if you want to expand your love of cooking into catering. 

The challenge with getting people to help is getting them as passionate about your project as you are. They may be enthused about taking part but other life priorities come up. Just like you have work and family to work around once you invite others into your creativity you have to deal with their work and families. You have to deal with your insecurities and fears as well as theirs. Of course the more people you invite into your creative space the more chance there is for miscommunications, missed deadlines, lateness, family stuff, being scared blah blah blah. 

There is the old saying The Biggest Risks Come With The Biggest Rewards. The more you put yourself out there. The more you invite people in. The more you share your gift, your creativity, your art, your … stuff. The bigger the projects you can tackle and the bigger the rewards you will get. 

In the interview with Solvieg Whittle she talks about how she saw a show by Jason Webley. It was a collaborative show where himself and a group of other musicians all wrote songs based on a found journal of a lady named Margaret Rucker (You can watch the Kickstarter video to hear the awesome story.  

Watch the video Here

Each artist created their piece then they put on a live show where they performed the music selling out the 800 seat theatre in their town of Everett Washington. Solveig had nothing but praise for the show. 

Now, just this week (I’m recording this July 23 2014) Jason Webley started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce the songs as an album and art book. They successfully raised their goal of $11, 111 in just two hours. 

I’m going to speculate and say that if it was just Jason himself who wrote and performed the songs that it would have taken much longer to reach his goal because he didn’t have access to the other musicians audiences. He wouldn’t have been able to initially produce the live show in as short a time because he alone would have spent much more time writing and rehearsing all the songs. And he may have only been able to sell out a smaller venue. 

It was through his willingness to collaborate and invite people into his creativity that he got this level of creative reward. Not just for him but for his fellow collaborators. 

Here’s where you get to do some thinking. 

  • What are some steps you could take right now to increase your collaborative efforts? 
  • What project have you been putting off because it will be too much effort or you don’t have the right skills yet? 
  • Could you reach out to people you know that have those skills to ask for help? 
  • If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, what are the things that seem to be holding you back? 
  • What are the scary bits that are keeping you from reaching out to your collaborators? 
  • What could you do to help yourself get past it? 

Did anything in today’s episode make you think of someone you know? If you think this episode would help them please share it with them. The share url is TheSparkAndTheArt.com/17

Thanks for listening and remember, you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark