In February of 2010, we held our first of what we hope will be many Speed Collaborating nights. The event ran just like regular old speed-dating, but instead pairing hopeful singles looking for romance, we brought together artists of all kinds in search of new creative associates. Thirty artists came out to The Talking Stick, a lovely coffee shop in Venice, to mingle among their community and strike up new collaborations. We sat these folks across from one another in pairs and gave them five minutes to introduce themselves, converse about their artistic background, goals, and achievements, spitball about creative ideas they have been kicking around, and/or brainstorm new ideas together in the short time allotted. And we helped them along a bit with some small prompts and some art supplies just in case the conversation stalled. When the bell rang, the artists moved down the line to their next potential partner. At the end of the night, everyone submitted to us a list of collaborators whom they would be interested in working with further. We then sorted out all of the matching selections, put them in contact with one another, and encouraged them to create.
And they did. We’ve heard back from people who built artistic relationships out of that night and have even completed projects together. (Visual art pieces, gallery showings, a pilot script, and more.) The room hummed with passion and creativity and no one left without at least one match. Even for just five minutes, sitting across from someone, with whom you may share nothing in common but your love of art, is a genuinely inspiring experience. Though small, the night felt like a real success in our core value of community building. We viewed that night as our pilot program and look forward to expanding this event in the future. There are so so many talented and diverse artists among us, and anything that we as company can do to get you people talking to each other, we will.