Collaboration as Creative Friendship

Sheer floral bell sleeves and wide-brim sun hats might not be the most appropriate attire for a California winter, but some parts of the world are enjoying warm weather, right? At least for my fellow California natives, this post could be inspiration for the upcoming sunny spring and summer seasons. edit_IMG_6797As I’m writing about this photo set half a year later (when it is now cold enough to wear fuzzy socks to sleep and the sun goes down before dinner), I reflect on how this photoshoot was the start of establishing a collaboration relationship with one of my best friends. Looking back, we’ve always been creative partners, from analyzing movies together, borrowing books from each other, or discussing creative projects we were excited by. At the time, he recently shared interest in photography and mentioned he was practicing, so I half-jokingly, half-seriously suggested he be my photographer for my next photoshoot. The nature of our friendship is that when a new idea is proposed, we usually jump at the chance and agree with no hesitation, so of course he quickly agreed and we made our plans for our first photoshoot together. edit_IMG_6899edit_IMG_6882Admittedly, we both were no experts in what we were doing: I was in no way an experienced runway model, and he was not a professional photographer. However, the lack of years under my belt never stopped me. As a child, I’ve always been excited to try a new creative outlet and would allow myself to learn along the way. Our inexperience allowed us to play and experiment because there were no rules or guidelines we felt restricted to follow. The freedom of experimentation is vital as a creative, no matter your medium. This is where new, innovative ideas spring up, and can be the stepping stone to inspire you to your next project.edit_IMG_6764edit_IMG_6817 We’ve exchanged ideas on potential collaborations, but this was our first creative endeavor together. Eventually, we joined forces again (him as my photographer) while I was testing out ideas for my first passion project, Brown Papaya. I attempted to articulate my rough ideas, but even then I’m not sure if I made myself clear to him. My process typically involves discussing aloud my thoughts and having a conversation with those I respect so that I can test if my idea is worth pursuing or if I should go a different direction. (I also reached out to other respected individuals, but more on the process for my Brown Papaya project in a future blog post). edit_IMG_6833As I began to develop the project and gained growing interest for participants, my friend reached out to me to offer assistance that I did not expect. Without him, I don’t know how efficient the project would have run or if it would have occurred at the extent it grew to be. I used to keep my wild creative ideas and thoughts to myself, but they would start and end with me, without reaching the ears of another. Working with passionate, excited, and like-minded creatives of different technical backgrounds can result in work that you may never have expected possible if done independently. The magic of having back-and-forth conversations to process your thoughts is an invaluable part of the creative process, and having at least one outside person who knows what you’re up to can keep you accountable to finish your work. For all my fellow creatives, whether you are a professional in the industry or are passionate makers at heart, no matter your level of experience, I’d love to hear about your future projects. If you are yearning for a creative confidante or even a future creative partner, feel free to shoot me an email at, comment below, or message me through social media if you want to process your ideas with me, would like for a new pair of eyes to look over your project for constructive criticism, or if you just want to have a conversation and gain a fresh perspective. I look forward to connecting!edit_IMG_6872Photographer: Lee-Ron

Outfit Details: 

  • Hat, necklace: H&M
  • Denim jacket, blouse, pants: thrift store
  • Boots: Hunter


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