Collaborating with other OCA students has been a real highlight these past few months. All the hard work has paid off and our first issue of Edge-zine is printed and winging it’s way to various destinations in the UK and overseas.
As the editor, it’s been a pretty huge learning curve and if I’m honest, ‘we all have to start somewhere’ was probably my mantra to begin with! There were lots of things I didn’t know how to do – and I had to make decisions to get round those difficulties rather than let them beat me.
For example, one thing I struggled with was not being able to find a layout programme to use to create the zine on a computer. This could have been really problematic but in the end I realised it offered me the opportunity of making the zine by hand – something that brought me real enjoyment and I think that is reflected in the final layout.
I also had the pleasure of ‘curating’ the contents of the zine – something I hadn’t anticipated. It was a real privilege to be given other people’s work and to know that they trusted me to put everything together with integrity. Working collaboratively with other students has really enriched my creative practice and there is also the possibility it will take us to exciting places that we might never have imagined possible before we began.
So what advice would I give if you were thinking of doing something similar? Number one is definitely ‘DO IT!’. Never is there a more appropriate time for the old cliché, ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’, if you know what I mean! On a more serious note, I would also suggest trying to stay focused on your end goal and to engage in a self-reflective process throughout. There are going to be lots of things to challenge you and try your patience but you need to remember the positives at all times, and trust that you can manage to do what you have set out to, even if it’s only the first time you’ve tried it!
Another thing to remind yourself of is to try and stay motivated and focused, and to know that you possess all the qualities you will need to make your project work – even if it ends up coming together in ways that you might not expect. And don’t forget, you also have the added bonus of working with others, so use them, get support from your group and if you are stuck, they are sure to be able to help you find a solution and your project will be all the stronger for it.
As home learning students we don’t often have the chance to spend time with other people studying with the OCA – but collaborations really are such a great way to connect with others following a similar path to yourself. It helps build friendships, new working relationships and it also gives us the chance to explore creative avenues that might seem too daunting to venture alone.
It really has been exciting to experiment with a new format for my creativity and I’m hoping that in reading this blog, that you might feel like giving it a go too.