Well hello there internet, look who's blogging again! Things have been a little hectic over the last few months, hence the radio silence, but I thought I'd pop back up today and talk about something that's been a key player in my life of late: collaboration. As a freelancer (or an aspiring one, at least), fostering creative collaborations is key to surviving and progressing in your chosen career path. This can, however, be a huge challenge to those of us who are just starting out. Despite there being a lot of networking events and collectives out there, unfortunately a lot of them charge membership fees, which was definitely an obstacle for me when I started networking. The online world too, contains a lot of members-only sites, and the sheer number of people using those that don't charge can be somewhat overwhelming.
So how have I approached the big wide world of networking? It sounds obvious, but I've found that just being present in artistic spaces (my place of work is a theatre, for example) can help to foster connections. Even if the people you meet aren't looking to collaborate immediately, they may well remember you in the future. A very good way of doing this can be to volunteer for a local arts venue or festival. I, for instance, have met many incredible artistic people through volunteering, and these connections have led to real world collaborations. Similarly, joining a local group can also lead you towards like-minded people. For example through singing in a choir last year I met my good friend and business partner Vanessa, with whom I ended up starting a festival.
And now we come to digital networking. I've had one major breakthrough in this field recently, which has been the platform Daisie. It is worth noting at this point that I am not sponsored by Daisie, but I have loved using their platform, and wanted to share the work that they do. Daisie is a free online platform and app that aims to connect creators from all over the world. It's very easy to use, with the option to filter you search so that you can find exactly what you're looking for. There is also a "looking for collaborators" option which I love, as it enables me to narrow my search down to the projects that are actively looking for contributors, and even view the roles they are looking for. Through Daisie I have received a lot of interest in my work, and have secured the contract for my first short film, That Day May Come. I have also been able to work on projects that I would not have otherwise come across, such as writing the music for a poem by TaliS. Above all Daisie has a strong, positive, and active community full of people who want to make their projects come to life, and others who want to help them.
So if you're new on the artistic scene, or want to widen your networking pool, I'd highly recommend giving Daisie a go, but most importantly: keep putting yourself out there. It's nerve-wracking, and you will get ignored a lot, which can be demoralising, but it's well worth sticking at it. In the end, the projects that do come from these efforts are more than worth the effort it took to secure them, and who knows, you might even surprise yourself - I know I did! Let me know in the comments your top tips for networking, and as usual don't forget to like, share, and give me a follow if you liked what you read. Ciao!