Why We Love Collaboration

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Our last blog post featured a collaboration with The Vigorous North on Portland's first Bike Map. As you may have seen this week, we've partnered on a project with our friends at Food Coma TV. We're about to announce a book collaboration with a local photographer, and we have a big project coming up this spring with two other agencies. As someone asked on our Facebook wall this week, "Is there anyone Might & Main doesn't partner with!?"

Like many creatives, at times we thrive on isolation and head-down work churning. We also crave those moments of intense creativity that you only get when you have 3 or 4 (or 14) minds coming together in a unified effort to solve a problem or create a new entity. Of course, there's the potential for meltdown when you fill a room with creative people, but there are a few simple things that we look for in our collaborations that make them successful and fulfilling. 

Mutual Respect. We have the good fortune to be surrounded by smart, artistic, unique characters here in Portland, Maine. The best collaborations that come our way involve someone, or a team of people, who challenge our abilities and do things that really impress us. A key factor in being an integral part of the process, and not just a production team, is having partners that also respect what we do here at Might & Main. Everyone should be bringing something killer to the table, and should be held in high regard by the rest of the team.  

Fun. It sounds simple, but projects that sound fun and interesting are going to be a lot more fulfilling to work on. There's an increase in your personal investment that can't be matched by payment or status. 

Dedication to the project. Everyone involved has to want the project to work, and has to be willing to make the sacrifices and commitments that the project might demand. The nature of the collaborations we find that we're so well aligned with often require some extra time behind the drawing board, some late nights, and a little extra elbow grease. As long as no one party is left holding the bag for all that extra work, the project will be more successful.   

Trust the process. When all else fails, return to the process that you have in place as a creative professional. Project getting off track? Dust off your Time Management hat. Chasing an ever-changing end goal? Revisit the creative brief (or sit everyone down and write one). In the end, we're professionals and we've been brought in for our particular expertise. Don't be afraid to step up to the plate and take charge of what you know you're good at. If your team is a good one, they'll respect you for it, and you'll all move the project forward together. 

When's the last time you embarked on a creative collaboration?

p.s. If you're interested in a copy of the Food Coma Poster, they're just $20 and all sales will benefit Cultivating Community.