| Angie Counios

The Mural: working together


The local Cathedral Village Arts Festival put me in touch with Joshua True Goff, a local graffiti artist, to make a mural in collaboration with one of my classes.

Making Art

Josh came in and spoke to the kids about the initial process: the students would work in a group, coming up with an idea, and then he would help with the steps from idea to finished mural on the side of a building.

He said collaboration is a dance: sometimes egos get in the way and that can be tough but sometimes your ideas gel because you have the same focus on the goal and a solid work ethic.

He mentioned there are different roles in teams for projects like these. Each person brings their strengths to the table. However, the steps and the process must be clear so that everyone knows where they are headed as they create.

The class came up with ideas, doodled them out and then passed them on to Josh. He took the student sketches and turned them into something the business owner would understand visually.

Then he taught the kids about spray paint and they filled in colors and primed areas, and Josh came along and made everything look good on that wall.

Art, Writing & Collaborating

And because I'm always thinking about my other job, I thought this all applies to writing too.

We have a process that is clear. Dave and I work on a thorough outline and when we feel it's solid we begin the process of putting the words down to write our story.

The metaphor Dave used that I love is that I am at the edge of the jungle swinging my machete, clearing a path, chopping things out of the way. The path is clear and laid out and Dave follows behind me making the path pretty and smooth.

It's great teamwork. It's exactly what is required when working on a creative team no matter what area of the arts. We both have our role and this has carried us all the way to our second book.

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