Collaboration can seem like a black hole. Very exciting as an idea. But quite difficult to find and materialize it.
There are many ways to collaborate. Do shows together. Put out work together. Asking someone to promote your work to their audience. Barter your work. Getting paid in cash and branding. All of these are still just few of the ways to collaborate.
So the first step obviously is to figure out what do you want to collaborate for? What’s the end goal? Money? Audience? Trust?
Once that’s clear, as I mentioned in another post, research on who you want to collaborate with. Notice what they are doing. What they might need. How you can help them with it.
At the end, it comes down to this – How can you help them?
Finally once you’ve figured it out, reach out to them over email –
"Hey XYZ, Love your work. Especially the one where <give specific example of their work>.
I see from your Twitter that you are interested in expanding to Instagram and are looking to stand out from other artists.
I am a Hand Lettering artist and have been practicing and teaching it for over 3 years. So I thought maybe I could be of help by Handdrawing your Instagram posts. This gives both a Personal touch as well as Unique Branding in your niche. In the past I’ve worked with <share names of past clients that this person may know>.
Actually I drew a few out so that you can sense how they might look for you. Here’s the Link.
If this works for you, I would be happy to get on a call and discuss it further to collaborate together.
<Link to website>"
It’s simple. To the point. Provides value first. And builds trust with a stranger.
The best part? You’ve got nothing to lose. If they don’t respond or say no, that work can go in your portfolio. And if it does work, then it’s just a matter of time to get more collabs.