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  • Writer's pictureSue Bulmer

Fostering Creative Connections: Ten Ideas to Spark Your Artistic Collaborations


Are you an artist looking to expand your horizons and dive into collaborative projects? Have you been inspired by the work I have been sharing on Instagram about my sketchbook collaboration with artist Sam Waters? Did you read the last blog and decide that you’d quite like a bite of the collaboration cherry?


As I have found out myself recently, collaborations can be incredibly surprising and rewarding, allowing you to combine your skills with those of other creatives, explore new ideas, and reach new audiences. However, getting started with creative collabs can sometimes feel daunting. That's why I've put together this guide of ten ideas with practical steps to help you kickstart your creative collaborations and bring your artistic visions to life.


Networking Events: Attend art exhibitions, workshops, and conferences to connect with fellow artists and potential collaborators. Networking provides invaluable opportunities to exchange ideas, forge connections, and lay the groundwork for future collaborations.

• Research local art events, workshops, and conferences in your area of further afield

• Prepare a portfolio or business cards to share with potential collaborators.

• Actively engage in conversations and exchange contact information with artists who share similar interests.


Online Platforms: Join online communities, forums, and social media groups dedicated to art and creative collaboration. Artist memberships sites such as Connected Artist Club, Happy Artist or Your Art Tribe can be great places to hang out and get to know other creatives, where artists from around the world come together, share ideas and support each other.

• Research art-sharing websites and start by creating your own profile.

• Join relevant online communities or social media groups dedicated to art and collaboration. There may even be a special offer or free trial.

• Once you have joined, start making connections, by reaching out to artists whose work resonates with you. Initiate conversations about potential collaborations.


Collaborative Projects: Initiate a collaborative project and invite other artists to participate. Whether it's a themed art series, a zine, a mural, or a virtual gallery, collaborative projects offer a platform for collective creativity to flourish.

• Brainstorm ideas for collaborative projects and identify potential collaborators.

• Reach out to artists individually or post a call for collaborators on social media and relevant platforms.

• Establish clear goals, roles, and timelines for the project to ensure smooth collaboration.

Artist Residencies: Apply for artist residencies or workshops that foster collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas. These immersive experiences provide the perfect environment to collaborate with artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

• Research artist residency programs that align with your interests and goals.

• Prepare a strong application including a portfolio, artist statement, and project proposal.

• Network with fellow residents during the residency to identify opportunities for collaboration.


Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Reach out to artists working in different mediums or disciplines and explore opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Combining visuals with music, literature, or performance can lead to truly innovative and impactful projects.

• Identify artists working in different mediums or disciplines whose work complements yours.

• Reach out to potential collaborators with a clear proposal outlining the project idea and each collaborator's role.

• Foster open communication and mutual respect to ensure a successful cross-disciplinary collaboration.


Open Calls and Competitions: Participate in open calls for collaborative projects or competitions organized by art organizations or institutions. These events offer a platform to showcase your work, meet potential collaborators, and gain exposure within the art community.

• Keep an eye out for open calls and competitions in the art community.

• Prepare submission materials according to the guidelines provided.

• Collaborate with other artists if the competition allows or seek collaborations through the event's network.


Local Art Community: Engage with your local art community by joining art collectives, co-working spaces, and attending gallery openings. Building relationships within your community can open doors to meaningful collaborations and support networks.

• Attend gallery openings, art walks, and community events to meet fellow artists.

• Join local art collectives or co-working spaces to network and collaborate with other artists.

• Participate in collaborative projects or exhibitions organized within the local art community.


Skill Sharing Workshops: Host workshops or skill-sharing sessions where artists can come together to learn from each other and potentially collaborate on future projects. Sharing knowledge and expertise strengthens bonds and fosters a culture of collaboration.

• Plan and host workshops or skill-sharing sessions on topics of mutual interest.

• Invite artists to participate and contribute their expertise to the workshop.

• Provide opportunities for participants to network and discuss potential collaborations.


Artistic Exchanges: Organize artistic exchanges where artists swap ideas, techniques, or even artworks. By embracing the spirit of generosity and collaboration, artistic exchanges cultivate a culture of mutual support and creative exploration. I meet regularly with a group of art therapists and we share techniques, skills and ideas which gives a great sense of connection and community.

• Reach out to artists you admire and propose an artistic exchange.

• Share ideas, techniques, or artworks with your collaborators.

• Provide constructive feedback and support to foster a mutually beneficial artistic exchange.


Be Bold and Brave

Don't hesitate to reach out to artists whose work you admire or whom you've always wanted to collaborate with. Taking the initiative can lead to unexpected opportunities and meaningful connections in the art world. This is how the fantastic podcast Art Juice came into being, by one person bravely suggesting the idea to another and now they are over 200 episodes in and it's one of the best creative podcasts out there!!


1. Research and Personalize: Before reaching out, research the artist's work and background to understand their style and interests. Personalize your message by referencing specific aspects of their work that resonate with you.

2. Craft a Compelling Proposal: Clearly articulate your ideas and intentions for collaboration in a concise and compelling manner. Highlight how your collaboration can benefit both parties and align with the artist's own creative goals.

3. Be Professional: Approach your outreach with professionalism and respect. Be prepared for the possibility of rejection, but don't let it discourage you. Follow up politely if you don't receive a response initially, as the initial email may have got buried in a bulging inbox.


Keep me posted. I’d love to hear about how your creative collaborations have come to life!!

Good luck!!



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