Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MURAL MAKING PROJECT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF COLLABORATION

I help lead Creative Conversations, a NYC-based group for women artists and entrepreneurs with twin goals of helping each other achieve life/work goals while making time for and connecting with their creative selves. We take turns facilitating gatherings on topics like these:

  • Putting Yourself Out There
  • Social Networking
  • Time Management
  • Ask Others/ Trust Yourself
  • Envisioning Your Future
Some of our gatherings include hands-on activities. One of the members, a painter, recently led an exercise in self-portraiture.

Last night, two of our participants led an exercise to help the rest of us experience collaboration. The talked a bit about the topic of collaboration and announced that the theme of the evening was "The First Time," which could be interpreted by each of us.

We broke into two groups of five. The group I was in started out by painting on the big piece of paper taped to the wall. The other group wrote about My First Time. The thing that came to me was the first time I flew on an airplane, so I painted that.

Then the groups switched. My group wrote and the writing group painted. The leader of the exercise challenged people to keep going back into the mural with more text, images, and to feel free to edit text and change (or paint over!!!) images put up by other people.

It taught me something about not holding on too dearly to a first draft of anything and to keep asking "What else?" in terms of thinking about what can be added to a project even when I think it is done.
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