January is whipping by. The weather varies from wet to frozen to bloody cold, but life is good.  I'm busy with a number of projects that make me feel positively toasty inside.  

I've discovered the joy of working with others. Groups can be as small as a duo, trio or a pack of five or more. A French expression applies here, "L'union fait la force", loosely translated as "There is strength in numbers". 

Some affiliations begin in a nebulous way. A fellow exhibitor in a group event might say, "Hey, I really like where you're going with this, how about we plan a show together based on theme X?"  Other groups are more structured, organized entities. 

Working with others gets projects going. A contagion of enthusiasm increases personal production as we inspire one another.  It's not uncommon to hear "Oh that's so cool, how did you do that?"

Artwork is generally created in isolation, requires focus, and as a result it's easy to put aside the painfully laborious paperwork plus stuff that comes with the job. In addition to being visual artists, each of us possesses a slew of other abilities. Some are adept at filling out forms, writing curatorial statements, grant applications and press releases, translation, marketing, while others are experts in the art of conversation, unafraid of the phone or schmoozing. All of these talents lead to interesting opportunities. Together we can move mountains, alone we stare at anthills.

In fairness, these unions don't always work out, personalities can clash, but it doesn't matter. Like in art, process and learning is the important thing. If we choose our collaborators wisely, everyone wins and that's the way I like it!