Collaboration Advice for Artists and Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Juelp. Article titled, Q&A: What’s Your Advice For Collaborating With Someone?  Written by Amy Schroeder

Ever thought about working in collaboration with another artist or designer? For some artists, working solo-style is best for them, while others choose to collaborate for short sprints or long-term projects. Many Minted artists also say they benefit from the collaborative nature of critiquing each other’s work during the Design Challenge process. For this edition of #ArtistAdvice, we asked full-time design duos Baumbirdy and Rose Lindo and her husband to share their best advice for creative collaboration.

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan
Baumbirdy
Chicago

Our best advice for working in a collaboration with someone is to have good communication from the very beginning. Honest communication is best. Sounds simple, but it can be really hard in the beginning not to take things personally, especially when dealing with something so personal as art.

It’s easy to say, “I like this color palette,” “That looks nice,” or “What do you want for lunch?,” but the true progress comes from “real” critiques. Being able to openly give and take advice and criticism is essential in creating trust and open-mindedness between one another. Being able to recognize and talk about one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to creating an efficient design process.

Floral Peace” holiday card by Baumbirdy

Openly communicating during the creative process will allow you to see things in a different light and recognize potential in areas you didn’t see before. When you honestly communicate about the good and the bad, likes and dislikes, visions and revisions, it doesn’t become work anymore—it becomes two people having fun doing what they love.

Photos by Carolyn Doogan


Rose Lindo
San Antonio, Texas

Several years ago, my husband and I were living the so-called dream in Austin, Texas. Thomas worked as a corporate restaurant manager with a decent salary and good benefits, and after many setbacks, my design business was finally starting to take off. In 2013, just before I turned 30, my husband traded in his chef coat for a laptop, and we celebrated our new life as business partners with a trip to Denver with our closest friends.

Thomas likes to give himself a new title each week, so for now, we’ll call him Chief Technology Officer, or CTO, for short. He’s always been obsessed with gadgets and researching the latest trends in technology. He’s a wizard at keeping up with our social media and marketing, which has played an essential role in growing our business over the last year. I take care of all the design work and product creation, so our roles rarely intersect.

Heart of Gold” by Rose Lindo

I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal, which didn’t mesh well with Thomas’ strict schedule. We had grown accustomed to missing birthdays, holidays, and most social gatherings due to the restaurant’s schedule we were married to, but it was a small price to pay for, well, whatever reward it was we were chasing after. The more I thought about it, the more I realized we were living someone else’s dream—not our own.

We decided to set financial goals, eliminate all debt, and downsize from a three-bedroom house to a 650 square-foot apartment in hopes of forging our own path as business partners. Thomas is the left brain to my right, while we both fall into the “scatterbrained” category. It’s almost comical to watch either of us work, as we click haphazardly around our screens, usually with at least a dozen windows pulled up at once. Neither of us uses a planner or to-do list of any sort, but we somehow manage to make things work.

When it comes to collaborating with someone else, it’s important to find someone who brings a unique set of skills to the table. If your roles are too similar, you might end up stepping on one another’s toes. Fortunately, my husband excels at all the things I’m terrible at and vice-versa.

Love Lyrics” by Rose Lindo
Top portrait by Ali Brown Photography

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Where the Magic Happens

This is my place. My creative place. My inspiration. My drive. My force and my fire. This place here, is where the magic happens.

It’s important to have a place to retreat when you’re at a creative roadblock. Somewhere that motivates and inspires you; anywhere from a park bench to a busy coffee house. My place happens to be conveniently tucked away inside my apartment; complete with my very own handmade desk (with tremendous help from my boyfriend) and wall of distractions—ehem, inspiration. Or as I like to call it, the original Pinterest board.

I find it necessary, if not mandatory for the sake of your eye wellness, to take your focus off the screen and let your eyes wander for a moment. In my case, it’s a must. Not only does this relieve my sensitive eyes, but it’s quite pleasing to observe my collage. The collection and mixture of different styles, colors, and trends give me inspiration (along with wardrobe envy) and serve as a constant reminder of why I want to get into this business.

For me this place is more than an office; it’s more than just a place to write. I imagine this place is where the beginning of my journey begins. Where all the research will be gathered, where all the questions will be answered, where communications and relationships will be developed, and where my dreams will become tangible. This is where the magic happens.

 

Women’s Day Instapiration

Today is an interesting day [March 8th, 2015]. Today, we celebrate women’s equality. Today, I feel perplexed because this is the first time I have even heard of a day that celebrates all women all over the world. It makes me sad that this is the first year I’ve heard of this tremendous observance. Equally, I am pleasantly humbled that I have learned of this observance through social media posts from my friends, role-models, and even brands recognizing, celebrating, and combating for women’s equality. It certainly is beautiful to see such inspirational and empowering messages. I’ve been wanting to write about social media, specifically instagram, and how it has become my source for daily inspiration and research.

You see my dream is to own and operate a women’s clothing boutique. It has been my dream for years, and finally I can pursue that dream.

For the past several weeks I’ve been doing my fair share of research in regard to fashion, retail, designers, and local boutiques here in St. Louis. And okay, so my research doubles as an online-shopping excuse, but I find it necessary if not crucial to be on top of my trends game.  And as silly as it seems, instagram is a phenomenal source for fashion trends. What I have found [of course] are more products that I love and want,  but more importantly an entire network of remarkable, artists, designers, stylists, and entrepreneurs who are doing what they love. Today, I want to recognize these talented individuals and thank them for inspiring me to continuously pursue my dreams.

Thank You,

Paris Gerrard: http://www.charcoalalley.com/https://instagram.com/get_rocked/

Arielle Nachmani : http://www.somethingnavy.com

Helen Bense : http://www.gypsylovinlight.com/

Barbara Pellegrino : http://www.bcpjewelry.com

Don Biu : http://www.etsy.com/shop/donbiubali

Teysha : http://www.teysha.is

Hyper Haute : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hyper-Haute/120526051301143

Ivy Hill Boutique : http://www.ivyhillboutique.com

Cha Boutique :  https://www.facebook.com/ChaBoutique

10denza : http://www.10denza.com

Tree House Network Shop : http://www.treehousenetworkshop.com

and so many more!

Thank you for your active posts. To you they may just be photos, but to me they are daily inspirations and reminders to fearlessly follow my passions. Happy International Women’s Day everyone.

Goodnight!

P.S.

I started writing just before the midnight, but published afterwards.

 

 

 

 

Advice for an entrepreneur-newb wanted.

Interview with small fashion boutique…check!

A few days ago I kind of put myself out there by emailing a local boutique telling them who I was, what I do, and what I really want to do and offered to help them out wherever there was help needed. The woman wrote back to me and was very pleased with my email and enthusiasm and now we’ve scheduled a meeting to “chat.” Hopefully, this leads to a job but in the event that it is only a chat and mainly me asking hundreds of questions about the business, what steps do I need to take to move forward?

Am I going about the interview approach correctly?

My best judgement tells me to talk to people who’ve made it in the industry, successful entrepreneurs, find out what they know, and hopefully gain insights and a lead to another direction.

Sure, this post may be premature but I’m just so damn anxious to get started. Any entrepreneurs out there who have any solid advice for a newb?

Leave the Fashion Door Open

Greetings!

My name is Caitlin Ayres and I am an entrepreneur that St. Louis doesn’t know quite yet. Documenting my journey could either be a terrible idea or be very endearing and real. Let’s hope for the latter! I will officially graduate from Webster University this winter with a BA in Advertising and Marketing Communications with an emphasis in copywriting and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship. Blah blah blah I know what I’m doing because I’m a master of advertising and entrepreneurship, right? WRONG. 

This whole scary start-up business thing cannot be taught in books. For me, it’s diving right in head first, getting my name and my dream out there and hoping for the best.

So what’s my business, sheesh just get to it.

Well if the fashionistas reference or my headline didn’t give it away, I want to open a women’s fashion boutique. When I was taking courses for my certificate I did alllllllll of my research and financial projections, and marketing, and the whole damn business plan for a women’s fashion boutique. I have a written plan but that will change immensely over the course of five years, which is my goal for when the store will open and operate.

Right now I’m interning at a little ad agency here in St. Louis and I’ve just started this project for creating a campaign for my store. Pretty exciting and inspiring, so I thought I’d follow through with my original plan to blog about the journey to entrepreneurship. Plus, gives me an excuse to write.

Today I emailed two owners of a small boutique asking if they needed help with anything, and although the email is tiny compared to the whole process to come, it’s a start; a great start, because it’s actually becoming something. No longer is it just talk and words, my email marks the action, and I will anxiously wait to hear what they have to say. Thus, my fashion door has opened, here we go.

Wish me luck!

-Caitlin