Co-parenting Is Hard
They say two is better than one. I’d have to agree.
For the past couple of months, I have been thrown into many partnerships with my peers. I have worked creatively on many briefs, almost all of which with a new partner where I have learnt something new. It helped better my creative process i.e., better planning skills, taught me a few tricks in Illustrator & Photoshop that allows me to produce faster results and most importantly, what the best partner for me looks and feels like.
Working with others is a necessary step that every creative, or any person for that matter, needs to take part in. As humans, It Is hardwired in our DNA to seek out others in order to survive. We all need someone. Someone to lean on, to help take our minds off things, to keep us focused on the task at hand and a bouncing board to conversate with. No matter the ups and down or if you are in the same social circles, your partner should ultimately make you better (whether as a person or a creative).
There are roles we all have to play in a partnership to keep the ‘engine’ running so that we can produce the work we envision. I’ve been with my creative partner for two weeks and learnt a lot about myself and them. I’m the art director half of the duo and they are the Copywriter (more of a hybrid). Some of the work has been fun, whilst the rest has been quite challenging but throughout it all, we have been able to talk honestly and reflect on what we have done well and what needs to be changed moving forward. The biggest thing I have taken away is that, like all things in life, practice makes progress, as a partnership will never be perfect.
Creatives are a weird bunch. All our work has a little bit of us in it and because we give so much to our work, it can be hard to part with our ideas and ‘kill our babies’ as Marc likes to say. So, when you are in a partnership, it’s no longer just ‘your baby’, it’s ‘our baby’. You have to co-parent correctly to insure your child sees the light of day and is the best possible version of itself. You have all these pre-conceived notions of what parenting would be like and perhaps, think it will be a walk in the park, but it’s not. It takes time and effort, and you will not be able to accomplish anything without having the same common values/beliefs, a plan where you have defined what you want and your expectations, you must respect one another as people, communicate, both listening and talking honestly and most of all, trust.
Trust is the biggest aspect when it comes to a good partnership. How can you spend all your time, developing your craft and producing work when you’re unsure if your partner has your best interest at heart? Of course, work is work and there is an extent to how much trust you put into someone, especially if you don’t see them outside of work but at the end of the day, you need to know that your partner isn’t going to stab you in the back.
Partnerships are tricky, unnerving, scary, crazy, fun, amazing and many other adjectives, but as long as you actively try to be better, for yourself and others, along with trusting them and the overall process, you might just end up with something beautiful, that last a lifetime. So, to everyone in partnerships, good luck with co-parenting. You’re going to need it.