Tag Archives: collaboration

Is this an argument against the collaborative art process?

This is Susan Cain’s (somewhat famous) TED talk about introversion:

Original TED talk link: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

One of the things she mentions is that introverts feel that they “work best” in low-key environments or when alone. As an introvert, I can say this is definitely true. I do “feel like” I work best in solitude. And I fully agree that it’s important for many people to come up with their own ideas before they must share them with a group. Cain’s very clear that she’s not advocating a single approach for everyone all the time.

Some of the comments on the video (in the original link) mention that art schools, which are places that you’d expect to be full of introverts, often forced collaborative environments, which are often poison for introverts. I’ve blogged recently about how valuable collaborative art can be, but some artists commented on the video that it was a bad experience for them when it was forced upon them in art school. I know that the video actually argues against collaboration; rather Cain argues that greater understanding about introversion is necessary to ensure everyone works at their best. I thought it was worth thinking about how to reconcile these conflicting views, perhaps beyond just agreeing that, like introversion and extroversion, both are equally valid.

I don’t want to draw any conclusions at this time. But after forcing myself to work more collaboratively, I have very recently started thinking about how detrimental my introversion and shyness is not just to promoting my art but creating it.