During my first 8 months of freelancing, I have learned some important lessons. And one of them is learning how to collaborate. I’ll admit, when I first started as a freelancer, my main concern was to find clients and to build a strong portfolio. I actually saw no benefits in collaborating.
But that all changed when I went to my first Northern Soho Mentor Meetup, 7 months ago, and I was challenged by John Ardern to produce a children’s ebook with Barbara Lino, an illustrator and graphic designer, which teaches 7-year-olds how to play chess.
Barbara, who is originally from Portugal, has enjoyed creating illustrations and graphic design as far back as she can remember and in time, has built a very a diverse portfolio.
Fast forward to this present day and we’re still working on this project. We’ve also managed to add Luke Perkin, an animator/programmer, to our little team to explore the possibilities of creating videos with the chess pieces.
Luke has been programming since the age of 13. He is extremely passionate about games and taught himself C++/C, C#, Lua and Java.
In the 7 past months, whilst working on this project, I have realised that you can gain so much from by working on a collaborative project. In this post, I have identified 5 benefits that I have learned whilst working on this task:
You’ll come up with new ideas.
It is much easier to brainstorm and come up with new ideas when you are working in collaboration. And another plus to this is that when you exchange different ideas with each other, you get instant feedback.
You learn how to build better personal/professional relationships
When working with different people, you will learn that everyone is different. So it is important that we compromise and make the effort to get to know our collaborative partner a bit better. The better we get on well with our collaborative partner(s), the more productive we work as group, and the project will get completed much quicker.
You become a better networker
While we were working our project, my collaborative partner, Barbara, had come up with a good idea to create some animations to coincide with the book. Since we are both not animators, we knew we needed to get someone who has experience in this field.
So we spoke to a couple of animators and we eventually met Luke Perkin. When we spoke to Luke about the project, he was very keen to come on board and help us with this project.
You develop good project management skills
While I was working on this project, I have learnt that people will have their own unique ways of approaching their work. So it was important for us to stay on the same page and we achieved this by holding regular meetings to review our objectives and to keep everyone informed of our progress.
You gain more access to different resources.
This is something that I’ve recently noticed. When you work with different people, they each have access to their own variety of resources. To give you an example, Luke Perkin has access to relevant software for creating animations and also knows fellow animators who can share and exchange ideas. Each of us is able to provide a unique input to the project.
If you haven’t been involved in collaborative projects before, you really should give it a go. There many lessons that you can learn and plenty of experiences to gain.