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A Complete Guide for Creatives through Collaboration

Shot by @anny_robert at @greywoulfestudios, Muse @peacehaje, Makeup @jhulesb, Styling @laurelmaris_, Hair @tonysbeautyace

Have you ever tried to collaborate with another creative and the entire process went south? 

Are you new to collaborations? 

Then this guide is for you. 

The art of collaboration, as much as it relies on talent, requires a decent amount of processes and procedures. This is especially important to guarantee the all-round protection of every party involved. Hence, it is very important as a creative that before you say “Yes” to that project, you look out for yourself and your work. 

Pre Collaboration

Photographer: @exquisite_eye, Muse: @mameadjei, Hair: @fesa_n, MUA: @shanicejones, Stylist: @iammontechristo

The very first thing you need to do is to carry out your due diligence on your collaborators. Check out their work ethics. Ask a couple of people who have worked with them in the past for reviews, and overall, just find out if your personalities complement each other. As much as creativity is about honing the skills and expertise required, it’s no doubt that personalities play a colossal impact in the creative process. 

The second step is to ensure your skills complement each other. The essence of collaboration is to maximize resources from both parties and get the best results out of the project. Don’t be so carried away with the excitement of working on your creative dream that you forget to carry out this test. Highlight the project and see how your skills can help you achieve the best results. 

The last step here is to reach out to them. Express the idea to them and ask if they’re willing to work on it. Ask for their honest opinion and what implementation would look like for them. The key here is to ensure the project is a proper fusion of both sides in every aspect. Once you have both consented to go ahead with the project; you can speak over the Terms & Conditions, sign the necessary paperwork (if any), and get to work.

During the Collaboration 

Oyinkan Dada and Denola Grey for Dadagallery. 📷: @thefifographer

Now that all parties are on board with the idea, it is important to note that a collaboration is not a competition; you’re not here to outdo the other party. Respect the other party, carry them along, and be open to receiving feedback on execution.

Creatives are often protective of their ideas/brainchildren, but don’t let this impede your execution of what may become a career-changing project for you. Be open to receiving feedback on how the project should be implemented, and try as much to compromise when you can. 

Avoid micromanagement. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to be micromanaged. Instead, focus on establishing a proper feedback/deliverable structure that works for everyone, and trust their talent and process. 

Post Collaboration 

Ayra Starr and Oxlade, photographed by drdrummerd.

After the project is launched, you must give credit to everyone who worked to bring the idea to life. Giving credit to the visionaries behind a project is very essential, as it takes a great deal of work to execute/brainstorm ideas. Express your gratitude and keep it moving!

Models: Divamaka,Chiomahh and others, designer:Studio.imo, photographer:TheLexash.

In the words of one of the greatest athletes ever; Michael Jordan, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Let this be your inspiration to explore the world of collaborations today!

Jacqueline Alabi
Jacqueline Alabi
Jacqueline Alabi is a Nigerian content writer and storyteller, passionate about amplifying stories about the African creative industry. Outside work, Jacqueline's favorite pastime is watching rom-coms and pretending to be the main character in them. A true Gen-Z babe, she believes that soft work will always be greater than hard work, so she balances both.